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US - Massachusetts confirms first Zika virus case

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  • US - Massachusetts confirms first Zika virus case

    Massachusetts confirms first Zika virus case

    Colin A. Young, State House News Service

    UPDATED 6:37 PM EST Jan 28, 2016

    BOSTON —...

    "We are aware of one case in Massachusetts, a person who had traveled to an area where we already know Zika is being transmitted," Dr. Larry Madoff, director of the Division of Epidemiology and Immunization at the Department of Public Health, told the News Service on Thursday afternoon. The Centers for Disease Control confirmed the infection on Tuesday, DPH said.
    Madoff said the infected person is a man, so there is no concern about the possibility of microcephaly -- a fetal malformation that affects the size of a baby's brain and head -- which has been linked to Zika infections in pregnant women in South America and Asia. Privacy laws prevent him from disclosing which region of the state the man resides in, Madoff said.

    "We were not surprised to see a case, we know a lot of people from our state travel to parts of the world where Zika has been transmitted," he said. "We won't be surprised to see some additional cases."
    Only people who have or are planning to travel to places with ongoing Zika virus outbreaks are at risk for getting the disease, Madoff said, and the type of mosquito that is known to carry Zika is not generally found in Massachusetts.

    "The basic message is there is a possibility you could have been exposed to Zika or any other of the arboviruses by mosquito bite and though most will remain asymptomatic, a few will have symptoms and in all cases we know of people recover uneventfully from these infections," he said. "The one area for concern is someone who was pregnant should get in touch with their health care provider for follow-up."
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela