Health Department: About 31 cases of Zika now confirmed in Alabama, new case in Marshall Co.

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MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. – Alabama public health officials continue to monitor nearly three dozen people in the state who have contracted the Zika virus.  There have been about 31 positive diagnoses in the state, with the latest in Marshall County.

Dr. Scott Harris, Infectious Disease Physician with Alabama Department of Public Health, said the person in Marshall County acquired Zika by traveling overseas.  There have been no cases of local transmission in Alabama, Harris said.

Harris said pregnant women should heed Zika warnings and not travel to affected areas, including parts of Latin America and some counties in southern Florida.

Zika virus is transmitted primarily through the bites of Aedes species mosquitoes and through sexual activity. Zika infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, which is a sign of incomplete brain development.  Doctors have also found other problems in pregnancies and among fetuses and infants infected with Zika virus before birth.

There is currently no vaccine or medicine to treat Zika.