Two Possible Zika Cases Being Investigated in Louisiana
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals is looking into two possible cases of imported Zika virus in the state.
According to a news release, both suspected cases are from people who recently traveled to a Caribbean country. Samples taken from the patients came back positive for Zika virus, and those samples have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation. Neither of the patients required hospitalization.
So far, these are the only identified Zika cases in Louisiana, but DHH is monitoring several other individuals who have recently traveled to the same region. None of them are pregnant.
"We do not believe that Zika will spread from these suspected cases," said DHH State Epidemiologist Dr. Raoult Ratard. "Local transmission of Zika by mosquitoes is very unlikely, given the weather and environmental conditions. The chances of getting Zika from a mosquito in Louisiana are very small."
Ratard also said experts believe the Zika virus can be passed from an infected person to another person through mosquito bites only during the period that the viral infection is in the blood, which can last from several days to about a week.
The two suspected Louisiana cases are outside the one-week window, but officials have counseled both patients to protect themselves from mosquito bites.
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