Arkansan tests positive for mosquito-borne Zika virus

Arkansan tests positive for mosquito-borne Zika virus

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms an Arkansas resident has tested positive for Zika virus.

The disease is relatively new to the Western hemisphere, according to the Arkansas Department of Health.

It is spread through mosquito bites, not casual person-to-person contact.

According to the CDC, the most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain, and red, itchy eyes. Symptoms are usually mild and last several days to a week.

The ADH says the Arkansas recently traveled out of the country and has a mild case of Zika.

"Arkansas residents traveling to Central or South America or the Caribbean, where Zika is present, should take precautions against mosquitoes," said Dr. Nate Smith, Arkansas Department of Health director and state health officer. "If you are pregnant, consider postponing your trip."

Smith added that Arkansas has the kind of mosquitoes that carry Zika virus.

"So mosquitoes here in Arkansas can become infected with the virus if they bite someone who has Zika," Smith said. "For this reason, people traveling to countries with Zika should avoid mosquito bites for 10 days after they return."

He said travelers to areas where Zika is present should also go to their doctor if they experience any of the symptoms associated with Zika within three to seven days after they return.

For more information on Zika, visit the CDC's website.

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