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Health Officials Confirm First Mass. Case Of Zika Virus

BOSTON (CBS) – A case of Zika virus has been confirmed in a Massachusetts resident.

The Boston Public Health Commission said on Friday that the patient, who is a Boston resident, contracted the virus while traveling outside the country.

Health officials said the patient is expected to survive.

Zika virus is spread by mosquitoes. Outbreaks have recently been reported in Africa, Southeast Asia, South America, and the Pacific Islands.

WBZ-TV's Dr. Mallika Marshall says there is no reason to worry about Zika spreading in New England.

"There's no mosquitoes around so we don't have to worry about him being bitten and transmitting it to someone else," Dr. Marshall said.

"The virus is not spread person to person, so he poses no health threat."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is asking pregnant women to avoid travel to countries where Zika virus is a concern.

"The species of mosquito that transmits Zika is rarely found in Boston," said Dr. Anita Barry, Director of the Infectious Disease Bureau at the Public Health Commission. "However, we encourage those traveling to countries with a high risk for Zika transmission – especially those who are pregnant or may become pregnant – to take the utmost care to avoid contracting the virus."

For more information on Zika virus, visit the CDC website.

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