Monday, December 4, 2023

First Case of Zika Virus Reported in Lafayette County

OXFORD, Miss – The Mississippi Department of Health (MSDH) reports the first case of the Zika virus in Lafayette County.

Lafayette County Emergency Coordinator David Shaw confirms the case is travel related.

“We do not know where the person travel to,” Shaw told “We do know that Zika has not become airborne in the county.”

Zika is a virus carried by mosquitoes that can cause major birth defects if contracted during pregnancy. The rarely-fatal infection can cause a mild illness with fever, joint pain, conjunctivitis or rash lasting for a handful of days to a week, but MSDH reports that 80 percent of the infected show no symptoms at all.

“Pregnant women should not travel to Zika-affected areas,” said Liz Sharlot, director of communications for the Department of Health. “The Zika infection can be passed from a pregnant women to her unborn baby, causing severe birth defects, including brain damage, hearing and vision loss, and impaired growth.”

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