A resident of Arkansas became the first American to test positive for Zika virus.
According to KFSM-TV, the individual contracted the disease during a recent trip out of the country and was diagnosed on January 25.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a press release the individual has a mild case of the virus, spread by Aedes mosquito bites.
Zika virus first emerged in Brazil in May and is now present in 22 countries in South America, Central America and the Caribbean, including Mexico, Puerto Rico and Colombia.
The CDC strongly urged against traveling to those countries, especially if one is pregnant.
In the press release, Dr. Nate Smith, the Arkansas Department of Health director and state health officer, said,
Arkansas has the kind of mosquitoes that carry Zika virus, so mosquitoes here in Arkansas can become infected with the virus if they bite someone who has Zika. For this reason, people traveling to countries with Zika should avoid mosquito bites for 10 days after they return. Travelers to areas where Zika is present should also go to their doctor if they experience any of the symptoms associated with Zika within three to seven days after they return.
The World Health Organization recently predicted the Zika virus would come to the US, but the CDC said an outbreak is highly unlikely.
Other diseases carried by the Aedes mosquito, such as yellow and dengue fever, failed to spread in the US due to the immediate isolation of the patients.
Citations: Arkansas Resident Tests Positive For Zika Virus (KFSM-TV), Arkansas Resident Tests Positive for Zika Virus (Arkansas Department of Health), Hawaii baby born with small head had prior Zika infection (CNN)