BERNALILLO COUNTY, NM - The Zika Virus is getting closer to home. The most recent case in the United States was just discovered in New Mexico. Now health officials are concerned with those people traveling back from Zika stricken areas after spring break.
The Zika Virus hasn't slowed down since the first confirmed case in February of this year. In fact Zika has continued to spread and is spreading fast with over 250 cases in the United States according to the CDC (Centers For Disease Control and Prevention).
Gino Solla, Director with the Ector County Health Department says, "We have such a large population in our county that has ties to Mexico, which is one of the countries that has found to have some Zika cases. It's hard to tell them (residents) not to travel."
In the case that you do travel to areas with Zika, Gino Solla says the best way to protect yourself is to use insect repellant, condoms during sexual intercourse, and to stay away from places with swamp-like and tropical areas.
If you fear you may have been infected here are the signs and symptoms..."There's going to be some vomiting involved, a maculopapular rash," Solla said.
Other symptoms include pink eye, joint pain, muscle pain, pain behind the eye similar to a sinus infection, and an overall feeling of discomfort. Whether the Zika virus is transmitted through a mosquito bite or sexually, Solla says the effects on the body and symptoms are the same.
What's is most terrifying is that Zika can cause the birth defect Microcephaly if a woman is infected during her pregnancy, also Zika can be asymptomatic.