The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment said Saturday that it has confirmed the first travel-associated case of Zika virus in the county.
Health officials, citing patient privacy, did not provide details about the returned traveler, the nature of the illness or the travel destination.
“Because this case was acquired while traveling, we want to emphasize that the risk of contracting Zika virus in our area is extremely low,” said Lougene Marsh, department director.
The county said only that the person “has a history of travel to an area where mosquitoes are spreading Zika virus.”
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Marsh said travelers returning to the United States from such areas should protect themselves from getting mosquito bites for at least three weeks so they don’t spread the virus locally.
The county health department is working with the University of Kansas to “determine the extent to which mosquitoes capable of carrying the Zika virus are present in Johnson County.”
National and county health officials say it is important to control mosquitoes outside and inside residences. Any containers that can hold water should be emptied and turned over so they don’t attract mosquitoes to lay eggs.
People are advised to use insect repellents with at least one of these active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol. Long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks also are recommended.
More information about the Zika virus is available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website’s Zika page.