The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has announced the first case of Zika in the state, occurring in a Hancock County adult over the age of 65.
“The common link to this virus is travel, and this finding is not unexpected,” Siiri Bennett, Maine’s state epidemiologist, said. “Several countries in the Caribbean, Central and South America are experiencing outbreaks -- and Mainers like to travel to warm places in the winter.”
There have been 25 people in Maine who are being tested for the virus. The person who tested positive had recently traveled to a country where the virus has been reported and started to have symptoms after returning to Maine.
“It’s important for the public to understand that the aedes mosquito that transmits the Zika virus is not found in Maine, and that your neighbor who has come home from a trip to South America cannot transmit the virus to you,” Bennett said.
The virus is mostly transmitted through the mosquito, but there have been reported cases of sexual transmission, such as a case in Texas.
“Pregnant women and their male partners with whom they are sexually intimate who travel to a tropical and subtropical climate where the aedes mosquitoes are found should not only take precautions against being bitten while traveling, but they should be tested and take appropriate steps to prevent sexual transmission of the virus,’’ Bennett said.