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2/10/2016

State confirms first travel-associated Zika case of 2016

Travelers should take precautions when visiting affected countries

EDITORS: Oregon Public Health has scheduled a media availability with Richard Leman, MD, from 1 to 2 p.m. TODAY in Room 918 (ninth floor) of the Portland State Office Building, 800 NE Oregon St.

The Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division is confirming that a person in Oregon has been diagnosed with a travel-associated Zika virus infection. The adult woman contracted the virus in an affected country outside the U.S. and has recovered. There is no danger to the public.


This is the first laboratory-confirmed case of Zika in Oregon in 2016. Before this, three Oregonians have had travel-associated Zika confirmed since 2014.

Zika is spread by certain types of mosquitoes that bite an infected person, then bite an uninfected person. Sexual transmission of the disease also has been reported, though this appears to be rare. Zika symptoms, which include fever, rash, joint pain and redness of the eyes, are mild, and serious illness requiring hospitalization is uncommon. However, Zika may endanger pregnancies, so women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should be particularly careful to avoid the disease.

“We have been informing physicians whom to test for Zika and sharing information on how travelers can protect themselves from being bitten by mosquitoes,” says Richard Leman, MD, an OHA public health physician. “We want to help Oregonians protect themselves.”

The Oregon Health Authority is in regular contact with health officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is partnering with the World Health Organization and other global health organizations to ensure the latest and most up-to-date information about the Zika outbreak is available to health agencies around the world.

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