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Health

First Case Of Zika Virus Confirmed In Kansas

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The Kansas Department of Health and Environment says it has received confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the first person to test positive for the Zika virus in Kansas.

An adult from southwest Kansas developed an illness consistent with Zika virus infection symptoms and was urged by the CDC and KDHE to get tested. The individual has a history of travel to a country with known Zika virus transmission.

Areas most affected by the Zika virus include many countries in the Caribbean and South Central America.

KDHE Secretary and State Health Officer Susan Mosier says the agency is prepared to handle the Zika virus in Kansas.

"We are working with health care providers across the state to respond to both suspected and confirmed cases," Mosier said in a statement Friday.

The Zika virus is commonly transmitted through mosquito bites, and more recently has been shown to spread through sexual contact.

Symptoms of the disease are typically mild and include fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes. Up to 80 percent of those infected do not show symptoms at all, according to the KDHE.

In the statement, Mosier urges anyone traveling to countries with known Zika virus transmission to take precautions against mosquito bites.

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Follow Sean Sandefur on Twitter @SeanSandefur

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