SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The state Health Department has identified 324 cases of Zika among New York residents infected with the mosquito-borne virus after they or their sexual partners traveled to areas where Zika is prevalent.
New York has more traveled-related cases than any other state in the nation because of the large numbers of people who travel between the New York City metro area and Central and South America where Zika is widespread, said Bryon Backenson of the state health department. There have been five confirmed travel-related cases in Onondaga County
There have been no Zika cases caused by mosquito bites in New York or elsewhere in the continental U.S.
Pregnant women infected with Zika can give birth to babies with microcephaly, a condition in which an infant is born with an abnormally small head. The virus also can cause Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a potentially deadly type of paralysis.
Onondaga County Health Department officials say there is no risk for mosquito transmission of Zika in Central New York because the type of mosquitoes that carry the virus are not here.
Pregnant women are being advised not to travel to countries where Zika is spreading. The state health department is distributing Zika pregnancy kits to pregnant women who may travel to affected countries. The kits include mosquito repellent, larvicide tablets and condoms, because Zika can be spread through sexual transmission.
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