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Virginia college student gets Zika virus

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- University officials in Virginia say a College of William and Mary student contracted the Zika virus while traveling in Central America over winter break.

The university said in a news release that the student is expected to recover and isn't experiencing symptoms.

The school also said that after consulting with its own health and wellness team and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it believes there is no health risk to anyone on campus.

The student is the second person in Virginia to contract the virus, reports CBS Richmond, Virginia affiliate WTVR-TV.

 

Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that has been linked to severe birth defects. The most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis. The virus has spread rapidly across Central and South America. There is no vaccine yet.

The virus has spread to at least 24 countries, and the World Health Organization estimates that 3 million to 4 million people across the Americas will be infected with the virus in the next year, says WTVR.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning pregnant women against travel to those areas; health officials in several of those countries are telling female citizens to avoid becoming pregnant, in some cases for up to two years.