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Number of Zika Cases Increases in Missouri

Andy Murray

Two more Missouri residents have been diagnosed with Zika virus—bringing the total number of cases in the state to nine.  The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services says the two most recent cases are non-pregnant females who had traveled to Jamaica and to Haiti.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Zika virus has the potential to be spread through a mosquito bite, through unprotected sexual contact and through blood transfusion, and an infected pregnant woman can pass Zika virus to her fetus during pregnancy.  The virus can cause microcephaly, a condition where the brain doesn’t develop properly.

According to the health department, nearly 80 percent of people infected with the virus will have no symptoms. Typically, symptoms when they do occur are mild and include fever, rash, joint soreness and/or redness of eyes.

There is not currently a vaccine for Zika virus. The best prevention measure is to avoid mosquito bites in areas with ongoing transmission.

There have been no reported cases of Zika virus contracted from a mosquito bite in Missouri. The CDC is recommending pregnant women avoid traveling to Zika-affected areas which include countries ranging from Mexico into the Caribbean, Central American and South America.