KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Public health officials are announcing Clay County’s first case of Zika virus. Officials said Thursday the patient is a male resident who recently traveled outside of the U.S. to an area of the Caribbean area that is experiencing an outbreak.
Zika primarily spreads through bites from a specific species of mosquito. It causes a mild illness in most people but can lead to severe brain-related birth defects if women are infected during pregnancy.
Aaron Smullin with the Clay County Public Health Center says that because the case involved travel, residents don’t need to be immediately concerned. But he suggested that people take steps to eliminate places on their property where mosquitoes could breed.
There have been no reports of locally transmitted cases in Missouri.