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Zika Virus

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  • Zika virus illness has been confirmed in an adult female Missoula resident who recently returned from international travel to Zika-affected areas


  • As expected, the specific travel history and medical facts associated with Montana’s first case confirm that the Missoula resident did not become infected locally. 


  • As with over 100 cases reported by US states, the infection was acquired during travel to other parts of the globe where Zika is present. 


  • Zika is a virus that is spread primarily by mosquitos.  About four out of five people who get infected do not become sick.  Those that do get sick usually have a mild illness characterized by fever, rash, joint pain and red, itchy eyes lasting for a few days to a week.  However, Zika may be linked to certain birth defects and other complications. 


  • Montana is not among the US states and territories in which the type of mosquito that can transmit Zika is found.


  • Missoulians who have traveled to Zika-affected countries and are pregnant or have symptoms of Zika illness should contact their health care provider. 


  • The Centers for Disease Control (CDC)  recommends that pregnant women postpone travel to Zika-affected countries and territories.  


  • Laboratory testing for Zika is limited primarily to people who have been in Zika-affected areas and are pregnant or ill.  Testing is facilitated by a team including the local health care provider, local and state public health officials and the CDC. 


  • For more information call our information line at 258-3500.