Infectious diseases: Zika virus cases lower, but virus remains a risk

August 6, 2018 by From Mayo Clinic News Network, Mayo Clinic News Network
Zika virus particles (red) shown in African green monkey kidney cells. Credit: NIAID

The number of reported Zika virus cases is much lower so far this year than at this point in 2017. However, pregnant women remain advised not to travel to areas where there is a risk of contracting the virus.

"It's still important that avoid travel to Zika-endemic areas. We know that there is a defined risk of in the children of mothers infected during pregnancy," says Dr. Pritish Tosh, an infectious diseases specialist at Mayo Clinic.

Contracting Zika during pregnancy can cause microcephaly and other birth defects. The virus is primarily transmitted by bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. Pregnant women also can pass the virus along to their unborn children. The virus also can be spread during sexual contact.

So far, there have been 65 cases of local mosquito-borne Zika virus reported in Puerto Rico in 2018compared to 620 cases in 2017.

At this time, no local mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission has been reported in the continental U.S. in 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Ongoing Zika transmission throughout Central America and South America continues but at much smaller numbers than in 2017.

Dr. Tosh explains that the number of people who are getting Zika this year is lower than in past years. That's partly because more people have gained immunity to it. When more people are immune, the odds of contracting Zika are lower for everybody—even those without immunity.

Find Zika travel information on the CDC website.

Explore further: Mosquitoes spreading Zika virus in parts of U.S.: CDC

2 shares

Related Stories

Mosquitoes spreading Zika virus in parts of U.S.: CDC

March 8, 2018
(HealthDay)—Zika infections are on the rise in parts of the United States where mosquitoes spread the virus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New York reports first baby born with Zika-related defect

July 22, 2016
New York City on Friday announced its first baby born with Zika-related microcephaly, a permanent brain and skull defect that authorities said the child acquired due to infection with the mosquito-borne virus.

Zika linked to birth defects in six US cases

June 17, 2016
The Zika virus has been linked to birth defects in the fetuses and babies of six women in the United States who were infected while pregnant, US health officials said Thursday.

Florida confirms first Zika infection from mosquito for 2017

October 12, 2017
Florida health officials are reporting the state's first case this year of the Zika virus transmitted by a mosquito.

US declares Zika public health emergency in Puerto Rico

August 13, 2016
US health authorities on Friday declared a public health emergency in Puerto Rico due to the outbreak of Zika, which has now infected more than 10,000 people.

19 Zika virus cases in Puerto Rico: official

January 26, 2016
The mosquito-borne Zika virus has now been found in 19 people in Puerto Rico, although none were pregnant women, the group most at risk, the island's health secretary said.

Recommended for you

Tibetan sheep highly susceptible to human plague, originates from marmots

August 16, 2018
In the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, one of the region's highest risk areas for human plague, Himalayan marmots are the primary carriers of the infectious bacterium Y. pestis. Y. pestis infection can be transmitted to humans and ...

Autoimmunity plays role in development of COPD, study finds

August 16, 2018
Autoimmunity plays a role in the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study led by Georgia State University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center that analyzed human genome information ...

Scientists identify nearly 200 potential tuberculosis drug targets

August 16, 2018
Tuberculosis is one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide. Nearly 2 million people die every year from this infectious disease, and an estimated 2 billion people are chronically infected. The only vaccine, developed almost ...

Reliable point-of-care blood test can help prevent toxoplasmosis

August 16, 2018
A recent study, performed in Chicago and Rabat, Morocco, found that a novel finger-prick test for infection with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii during pregnancy—and many other potential applications—is 100 percent sensitive ...

First mouse model to mimic lung disease could speed discovery of more effective treatments

August 16, 2018
The biggest hurdle to finding effective therapies for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) – a life-threatening condition in which the lungs become scarred and breathing is increasingly difficult – has been the inability ...

Anticancer drug offers potential alternative to transplant for patients with liver failure

August 15, 2018
Patients suffering sudden liver failure could in the future benefit from a new treatment that could reduce the need for transplants, research published today shows.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.