A Minnesota traveler returning from Latin America has contracted the Zika virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) confirmed the case.
This is the first case of 2016 in Minnesota. A woman from Anoka County that is in her 60s recently returned from a trip to Honduras. She started feeling symptoms after Jan. 1. The woman did not need to be hospitalized, and she is expected to fully recover.
The CDC and MDH believe there is not a significant threat to Minnesotans.
“Zika virus is not a health threat for people in Minnesota, but it is a reminder that anyone traveling to a different part of the world should be mindful of the health issues present in that region,” MDH Commissioner Ed Ehlinger said. “Since some regions where Zika is circulating are popular destinations for Minnesota travelers in the winter, we expected we might see cases of Zika in the state.”
The mosquito-borne illness has been spreading rapidly in Latin America. It previously was confined to Africa and Asia, but cases were first reported in the West in May 2015. The infection is expected to further spread to the United States. Pregnant women are most at risk, as the illness can cause microcephaly, which causes unusually small heads.