News Release -For Immediate Release from Utah Department Of Health
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
First Case of Zika Virus Disease Reported in Utah
(Salt Lake City) – Utah public health officials have received confirmation from the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that a Utah resident has tested positive for the
Zika virus. The patient, a child between the ages of two and 10 years, recently traveled to an
affected country before returning to Utah. The child exhibited symptoms, including the
typical rash, and has not experienced any complications.
“It isn’t surprising that Utah has an imported case of Zika virus since so many of our
residents travel to and from areas where the disease is currently being transmitted,” said Dr.
Allyn Nakashima, State Epidemiologist with the Utah Department of Health (UDOH). She
adds, “Zika virus, with the possible link to the birth defect microcephaly, is understandably
frightening.” Since there is no vaccine to prevent Zika virus, and no specific medical
treatment for those who are infected, the UDOH urges all who may be considering travel to
the growing number of affected countries to take the necessary precautions to avoid mosquito
Zika virus is transmitted to humans primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species
mosquito. Visit http://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/index.html for the most current list of countries
affected by Zika virus. Sexual transmission of Zika virus can occur, although there is limited
data about the risk. The virus generally only causes fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes, and
is almost always a very mild illness. Most people won’t require testing. Approximately 80
percent of those infected never show any symptoms of the disease, while approximately 20
percent will have only mild symptoms.
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Public health officials encourage pregnant women to postpone traveling to affected areas, if
possible, or talk to their health care provider before considering travel. For anyone who does
plan to visit the affected countries, prevention is the best approach to avoiding Zika virus
infection. Steps to prevent mosquito bites include using insect repellents containing DEET,
wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and removing standing water where mosquitoes
live and breed.
The UDOH and CDC are monitoring the situation closely.
Media Contact -Becky Ward, UDOH
(o) 801-538-6682 (c) 801-352-1270
For more information on Zika virus and how to protect yourself, visit www.cdc.gov/zika. For
women who are pregnant and have questions about Zika virus, please call the MotherToBaby
program at 1-800-822-2229, text 855-999-3525, or chat live or email
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The mission of the Utah Department of Health is to protect the public’s health through
preventing avoidable illness, injury, disability and premature death, assuring access to
affordable, quality health care, and promoting healthy lifestyles.