Ohio Department of Health encourages safe travel in midst of Zika outbreak

So far, there are 193 travel-associated Zika virus disease cases across the U.S.

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes sit in a petri dish at the Fiocruz institute in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016. The mosquito is a vector for the proliferation of the Zika virus currently spreading throughout Latin America. New figures from Brazil's Health Ministry show that the Zika virus outbreak has not caused as many confirmed cases of a rare brain defect as first feared. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
Aedes aegypti mosquitoes sit in a petri dish at the Fiocruz institute in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

COLUMBUS, OHIO (WKBN) – Spring Break has started, and the Ohio Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are warning Ohioans to take special precautions when traveling to countries with active Zika virus transmission.

Zika has spread to about 28 countries and territories that include popular Spring Break destinations such as Mexico and Puerto Rico. For the latest list of the current CDC travel advisories, click here.

So far, there are 193 travel-associated Zika virus disease cases across the U.S. Ohio has seven confirmed cases, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

The primary mosquito that transmits Zika virus is found in the tropics and southern U.S., but it is not established in Ohio.

Zika virus is primarily transmitted through a mosquito bite, and there is no indication that it can spread from person to person through casual contact. Of people infected with the Zika virus, 80 percent do not have any symptoms. When symptoms occur, they are often mild, lasting from several days to a week and include fever, rash, joint and muscle pain, conjunctivitis (red eyes) and headache.

Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.

Zika virus can also be be spread through a man to his partners by sexual transmission. Men who have traveled to an area of active Zika virus transmission should use condoms every time during sex or abstain from sexual activity if their partner is pregnant. At this time, there is no evidence that women can transmit Zika virus to their sex partners.

ODH started a social media campaign to bring awareness and education to college students and families. You can find more information on the Department of Health’s website at http://www.odh.ohio.gov/zika for more information about Zika virus.

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