How Zika spreads (and who’s to blame)
The first case of the Zika virus reported in Idaho struck a woman from the panhandle over the age of 60 who had just traveled through Mexico, according to an Idaho Department of Health and Welfare press release.
The woman did not need to be hospitalized, and since Idaho doesn’t have the type of mosquito that transmits the virus, there isn’t a threat to the general public, according to the release.
The virus is transmitted through a specific type of mosquito that lives in parts of the south, in Mexico, Central American, South America, the Pacific Islands and the Caribbean. The virus can also be transmitted via sexual contact.
Zika became notorious for its impact on pregnancies. It can cause severe birth defects like microcephaly. Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant are urged to avoid regions where the virus is present. Also, if their partner is traveling to one of those regions, women are urged to use a condom or avoid sex, or becoming pregnant for at least eight weeks, according to the release.
The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, muscle pain, joint pain and pink eye, according to the release.
If you are traveling to an area with Zika health officials encourage you to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, use EPA-registered bug repellent, use permethrin clothing and sleep in screened-in air conditioned rooms. About 1,600 people in the U.S. have tested positive for the virus, according to the release.