(Gillette, Wyo.) Last week a case of Zika was confirmed in Teton County. The patient diagnosed there was not a permanent resident of the Jackson area. Unfortunately that means Campbell County now has the dubious honor of being the first county in Wyoming with a confirmed Zika case in one of their residents.
This afternoon the Wyoming Department of Health confirmed that a Campbell County woman who had traveled to a country with known Zika transmission has contracted the disease.
"Most states have already reported travel-related Zika illnesses. It is no surprise for this to also happen to someone from Wyoming," said Dr. Tracy Murphy, state epidemiologist with WDH.
Zika virus is spread to people mostly through bites of certain types of mosquitoes not known to be found in Wyoming. Murphy said the biggest concern related to Zika virus is that it can be passed to babies during pregnancy and has strong links to a serious, brain-related birth defect known as microcephaly. The Campbell County woman diagnosed is not pregnant.
"Folks should consider Zika when planning travel to affected areas, but the discovery of the illness in a Wyoming resident does not mean an increased risk in our state and does not change our recommendations," Murphy said.
As a refresher, those recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) include:
- Pregnant women should not travel to the newly identified area in Florida or other Zika-affected locations.
- Sexual partners of pregnant women who live in or who have traveled to an affected area should consistently and correctly use condoms or other barriers against infection during sex or abstain from sex during the pregnancy.
- All pregnant women who live in or travel to an area with active Zika virus transmission, or who have sex with a partner who lives in or traveled to an area with active Zika virus transmission without using condoms or other barrier methods to prevent infection should be assessed for possible Zika virus exposure during each prenatal care visit and tested according to CDC guidance.
- Women and men who traveled to this area should wait at least 8 weeks before trying for a pregnancy; men with Zika symptoms should wait at least 6 months.
- Anyone with possible exposure to Zika virus and symptoms of Zika should be tested.
The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week.