Houston County man contracts Zika virus in South America

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – After a family vacation in South America, a man in Houston County contracted the Zika virus.

“They had picked up a solider in the Air Force after a personal vacation with his family. He came and began to show symptoms so he was tested and they determined he tested positive,” Dr. David Harvey said.

Dr. David N. Harvey is the director of the North Central Health District. He was sent out to Houston County to make sure neighbors and friends were aware of the virus and didn’t come in close contact with the man.

“Turned out that person stayed home until he got well,” Harvey said. “He’s back at work, doing fine, no symptoms and it did not transmit to anyone because we took the right precautions.”

Harvey says there is no reason to panic regarding the virus in Middle Georgia. But he advises to take precautions that reduce the chances of being bit by a mosquito.

“I think it’s something we should be concerned about,” Harvey said. “We know it’s moving up.”

Preventative measures to getting bit by mosquitoes include: wearing long sleeves and pants, applying insect repellent, dumping or clearing standing water.

Director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Dr. Thomas Frieden, says women who are pregnant should be most cautious.

“Every pregnant woman in the U.S. be assessed by her obstetrician and understand that as long as there is Zika spreading anywhere pregnant women should take steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites,” Frieden said.

So far the CDC reports 42 instances of Zika in Georgia.