Louisiana investigating 2 possible Zika virus cases – NOLA.com

The Department of Health and Hospitals said Thursday (Feb. 11) it’s investigating whether two people contracted the Zika virus while visiting the Caribbean and returned to Louisiana with the virus.

The department said that two samples obtained from the individuals tested possible for Zika, a virus usually spread by mosquitos that was declared last week by the World Health Organization as an international public health emergency. On Feb. 3, Texas confirmed a case of the Zika virus contracted through sexual contact.

DHH said neither of the people in Louisiana required hospitalization to treat the infection, and that their samples have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to confirm they have, in fact, contracted the virus.

The virus is most dangerous for women who are pregnant — scientists are investigating whether the virus causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads — but DHH said neither of the two infections in Louisiana affected pregnant women.

“We do not believe that Zika will spread from these suspected cases,” DHH state epidemiologist Dr. Raoult Ratard said in a statement. “Local transmission of Zika by mosquitoes is very unlikely, given the weather and environmental conditions. The chances of getting Zika from a mosquito in Louisiana are very small.”

Both of the people who are suspected to have contracted Zika were in Louisiana outside the one-week window in which a mosquito could have picked up the virus from the person, Ratard said.

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Louisiana investigating 2 possible Zika virus cases – NOLA.com

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