Hawaii sees 2nd case of imported Zika this year

Hawaii sees 2nd case of imported Zika this year

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state Department of Health has confirmed a second imported case of Zika in Hawaii this year.

The DOH said Monday the Kauai resident recently traveled to Latin America and may still be infectious. The person was asked to keep indoors and stay away from mosquitoes. The DOH would not release further information to respect the privacy of the individual.

"As Zika continues to spread in multiple regions across the world, we anticipate that we will experience an increase in imported cases and must take precautionary measures to reduce our risk for an outbreak in Hawaii," Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler said, in a statement.

The first confirmed Zika case in Hawaii was reported in early March. That person, who lives on Oahu, is no longer infectious.

In 2015, Hawaii saw four cases of Zika virus in the state. There were two reported cases in 2014. All of those who tested positive got the virus abroad, and there has been no local transmission of Zika in Hawaii.

Zika is caused by the Zika virus and spread by mosquitoes.

The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis. About 1 in 5 adults infected with Zika will actually get sick. Symptoms are typically mild and last several days to a week.

More recently, the most alarming element of Zika has been its link to a serious birth defect called microcephaly, in which babies are born with small heads and brains.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends special precautions for women who are pregnant or may become pregnant. In the Pacific, Zika travel notices have been issued for American Samoa, the Marshall Islands, Samoa and Tonga. Pregnant women should avoid traveling to these areas.

"There are several simple steps that we can take as a community to accomplish this, such as getting rid of standing water around our homes to reduce mosquito breeding sites and using repellent or protective clothing to prevent mosquito bites," Pressler said. "It is crucial that we keep these practices top-of-mind as we prepare for travel in and out of the state, especially to areas that may be affected by Zika and other mosquito-borne illnesses."

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