Woman living York tested positive for Zika virus

YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – A woman now living in York contracted the Zika virus while she was pregnant and living in Puerto Rico several months ago.

The state Department of Health is distributing Zika kits in the York area.

“This isn’t an outbreak of Zika, this is more preparations for Zika,” said Dr. Matthew Howie, medical director of the York City Bureau of Health.

Since the woman didn’t get the virus in York County, Howie says there’s no immediate threat to the community.

“It wasn’t locally contracted. These cases that are in this region of the country are transmission-related to travel,” he said.

Howie said the type of mosquito that’s usually responsible for Zika transmission is so rare in our part of the country, it’s really not a risk to the public. Traveling to areas where there is a risk of Zika virus infection is not recommended to woman who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy.

“When it comes to travel, we recommend reproductive age females, especially those intending to become pregnant, do not travel to the Zika affected area because that would be exactly the scenario where we would worry about potentially affecting the unborn child,” Howie said.

Howie said details are hard to come by since it’s an emerging epidemic. What you should know is Zika typically isn’t harmful to those who aren’t pregnant. Four out of five people show no symptoms. The virus, however, can be sexually transmitted, and if an infected person is bitten, the mosquito can transmit the virus to others. Someone who is infected can transmit the virus for about four weeks.

If someone has traveled to a country where Zika is a risk, “they need to contact their OB provider upon return and there are appropriate tests that can be done,” Howie said.

Howie said the woman in York no longer has the virus and her child is being monitored.

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