Zika case confirmed in Lenawee County

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

The Lenawee County Health Department reported its first confirmed case of travel-related Zika virus, officials announced Tuesday.

The department is “encouraging people who travel to South or Central America, the Caribbean, Mexico, Pacific Islands and certain areas of Miami-Dade County, Florida, to be aware of the transmission of Zika virus,” health authorities said in a statement.

The Zika virus is spread mainly through a bite from an infected Aedes species mosquito but can also be transmitted through blood transfusions as well as sexual contact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In addition, pregnant women can pass Zika — which is known to cause microcephaly, a severe birth defect affecting brain development — to her unborn baby, CDC officials said. The agency has recommended that all expectant mothers in the United States be assessed for the Zika virus as cases climb across the country.

The virus is seen most in Latin America and the Caribbean. Florida has reported homegrown Zika transmission by mosquitoes.

In Michigan, the primary infection risk “is from traveling to infected areas, or through sexual transmission with a male partner returning from an area with Zika activity,” according to the state Department of Health and Human Services website.

Authorities in February confirmed the first Zika infection in a Michigan resident.

The Lenawee case comes more than a week after health officials confirmed the first case in Monroe County.

So far, there have been 31 travel-related cases identified in Michigan, according to the state Health Department.

Symptoms of the virus, for which there’s no preventative vaccine, include a fever or rash; joint pain, muscle pain and headache; and red eyes, Lenawee health officials said.

“Any individual who develops one or more of the symptoms … should consult their health care provider,” their release read.

For information, call the Lenawee County Health Department at (517) 264-5234 or go to cdc.gov.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.