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First Travel-Associated Zika Virus Infection Reported in Monterey County Resident   On July 30, 2016, Monterey County Health Officials reported the first travel-associated Zika virus infection in a Monterey County resident.  The individual traveled to Central American in June and July and became ill upon return to the United States.  The individual sought medical care from a primary care provider, who requested Zika virus testing from the Monterey County Health Department.  Zika virus infection was confirmed through laboratory testing.  The individual is recovering from the infection.  No other information about the individual is being released to protect the privacy of the individual.   Zika virus is transmitted to people by Aedes aegypti and albopictus mosquitoes, as well as through sexual contact and blood transfusions.  Zika virus can also be passed from mother to baby during pregnancy and at delivery.  Zika virus infection during pregnancy has been linked to microcephaly, fetal demise, and visual and hearing impairments in impacted areas globally.  Most people infected with Zika virus do not have any symptoms.  Among those who do, the most common are fever, rash, joint pain, headache, and redness of the eyes.  Symptoms usually begin 3 to 7 days after exposure and last several days to a week.  Treatment is limited to supportive care including rest and use of medications to reduce fever and joint pain.   “I strongly encourage pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant to avoid travel to areas where Zika virus transmission is occurring,” states Dr. Edward Moreno, Health Officer and Director of Public Health.  “I also encourage expecting couples who have had potential Zika virus exposure to consult with their obstetricians.  In addition, all individuals traveling to areas where Zika virus transmission is occurring should take steps to avoid mosquito bites.”  This includes use of insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of eucalyptus, or para-menthanie-diol.  Other precautions such as wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants and using mosquito bed nets are also recommended.   As of July 29, 114 travel-associated Zika virus infections among California residents have been reported, including 21 pregnant women.  Zika virus continues to be transmitted in parts of Mexico, Central America, South America, and some Pacific islands.  On July 29, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that four cases of Zika virus infection in the Miami, Florida, area were likely locally acquired.  These Florida cases are the first reports of Zika virus infection acquired in the United States from mosquito bites.   For information about Zika virus, please contact the Monterey County Health Department’s Communicable Disease Unit at 831-755-4521 or visit our website at For information about mosquito control, contact the North Salinas Valley Mosquito Abatement District at 831-422-6438.  Additional information about Zika virus is also available on the CDC’s website at    

How Does Zika Spread?

It is a common misconception that all mosquitoes only bite at night. The mosquitoes that carry  Zika virus prefer to bite during the day but will also bite at night. A mosquito becomes infected after biting someone with Zika and then, after about 10 days, transfers it to whomever it bites.