Three new confirmed cases of Zika virus in Missouri
ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services confirmed three new cases of the Zika virus on Friday: two men and a woman.
Two of the individuals had traveled to Nicaragua while the other recently visited Puerto Rico. The woman who tested positive was not pregnant, health officials said.
With these latest confirmations, this brings the total number of travel-related cases of Zika virus in Missouri to 20.
According to the Missouri Department of Health, there have been no reported cases of the Zika virus being contracted from a mosquito bite in the state.
The Zika virus can be spread through a mosquito bite, unprotected sexual contact, and blood transfusion. A pregnant woman can pass the virus to her fetus during pregnancy. Nearly 80 percent of people who catch the virus will show no symptoms, which includes: fever, rash, joint soreness, or redness of the eyes.
International health officials suspect a connection between pregnant woman catching the virus and a birth defect called microcephaly in newborns. Babies with microcephaly will have smaller head sizes and their brains may not develop properly.
The CDC recommends pregnant women avoid traveling to Zika-affected areas, such as Mexico, the Caribbean, Central American, and South America.
At present, there is no vaccine for Zika virus.