A fourth resident of Connecticut recently tested positive for the Zika virus, according to the state’s Department of Health.
The virus, which has no vaccine, has been associated with microcephaly, a neurological birth defect.
There have been 472 reported cases in the U.S. of Zika, a mosquito-borne disease which reappeared in Brazil late last year and has resulted in 1.6 million cases. All the U.S. cases have involved people who traveled to places where the disease is prevalent. There have been no cases that were contracted in the U.S.
Those in Connecticut who have been infected had previously traveled in the Caribbean and Central America.
Officials said more cases are expected in the state as travel ramps up during the summer.
Countries and territories with active Zika virus transmission
The virus is primarily spread through mosquito bites, but can also be sexually transmitted. Connecticut officials said they expect future cases that occur in the state to be related to travel or sexual transmission.
Officials urged people to take the following precautions:
Pregnant women or women planning to become pregnant should avoid travel to areas where there are Zika-carrying mosquitoes.
- Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant and must make the trip should take steps to avoid mosquito bites, including wearing long sleeves and pants, staying in places with air conditioning or screens on windows, using mosquito nets if camping, and wearing Environmental Protection Agency-registered insect repellent.
- Men who visit affected areas should use condoms or abstain from sexual activity during the six months after they return.
Connecticut ranks 20th in number of travel cases in the country with about 1.1 per 1 million residents.
Hawaii and Florida lead the country at nearly five cases per 1 million residents.
Check out HealthMap for additional details on individual reports. The interactive timeline, compiled by Boston Children’s Hospital, aggregates data from reports from various publications.