A woman tested positive for the Zika virus according to results released to the Snohomish Health District. She had recently traveled to Ecuador, one of the areas known to have mosquitos infected with the Zika virus.
She is not pregnant and is no longer exhibiting symptoms. The Snohomish Health District is also working closely with her health care provider to ensure that she follows CDC guidelines. For women, this includes preventing pregnancy for 8 weeks after symptom onset. Zika has been linked to increased risk of birth defects in pregnant women, as the virus can be passed from a mother to her baby during pregnancy or birth.
“We live in a world where any disease can be in our community within a matter of hours,” said Dr. Gary Goldbaum, health officer and director of the Snohomish Health District. “Whether it is Zika, measles, pertussis or something we haven’t even heard of yet, we have a highly skilled workforce ready to respond and keep Snohomish County residents safe.”
The virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species of mosquito. While this species is not currently in Washington, people who travel to and from areas where Zika is spreading can return with the illness. Men can transmit Zika through sexual contact. In general, women who may have been exposed are advised to wait at least 8 weeks before attempting to conceive. Men who have been exposed through travel or have tested positive for Zika are encouraged to either abstain from sexual contact or use condoms for up to 6 months after testing positive.
For more information, the Snohomish Health District recommends the following resources: