Iowa woman tests positive for Zika virus

Dr. Mark Rupp, left, medical director of the Department of Healthcare Epidemiology Infection Control, and Dr. Pete Iwen, director of the Nebraska Public Health Laboratory, discuss the Zika virus this month in Omaha. Two Nebraskans have tested positive for the virus.

An Iowa woman who recently traveled to Central American nations where the Zika virus is prevalent has tested positive for the virus.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported Friday that the woman is 61 to 80 years old. It did not say where she lives or how she is doing.

Nebraska reported Zika in two women early this month, one from Sarpy County and one from Douglas County.

The women, both in their 20s, are believed to have contracted the virus by mosquito bite while traveling. One had traveled to South America, the other to the Caribbean. Both showed symptoms, visited their health care providers and tested positive for the virus.

The virus typically makes people ildly ill or not ill at all.

But pregnant women infected with the virus may be at risk of giving birth to babies with brain damage.

The Iowa health department said the public is not in danger of contracting the virus because the mosquitoes that transmit the disease aren't in Iowa at this time. Iowans traveling to nations where there is Zika virus transmission should protect themselves from mosquito bites, officials said.

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