HealthDay News — Multiple reports of Zika virus and West Nile virus are being investigated by Alabama health officials.
People can get Zika virus from mosquito bites, sex, and blood transfusions, and a pregnant woman can pass it to her baby, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
West Nile is spread by mosquitoes. Most people who are infected have mild or no symptoms and fully recover, but about one in five develop a fever and may also have headaches, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, or a rash, and about one in 150 develop serious illness such as inflammation of the spinal cord or brain, the CDC says.
“To date in Alabama, the Zika virus has only been identified in individuals known to have traveled to areas where Zika is known to be endemic. There has been no local transmission,” the state’s health agency said in a news release issued yesterday. “Infection with the Zika virus causes only mild symptoms in the majority of the cases, but the biggest risk is to pregnant women. Zika is now known to cause birth defects and other poor pregnancy-related outcomes if infection occurs during pregnancy.”