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MDH: 57 Cases Of Zika Virus In Minnesota This Year

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minnesota Department of Health reports there have been 57 cases of Zika virus in Minnesota this year, with five occurring in pregnant women.

Thirty-six of the cases have occurred in females, while 21 males have been infected with the virus.

There were no apparent birth defects reported among the women who have given birth.

As Minnesotans begin traveling to warm weather destinations for the holiday season, the MDH has some tips to stay safe.

Avoiding mosquito bites is key to preventing Zika infection. The MDH recommends using the same mosquito repellent you use in Minnesota, wearing loose-fitting, light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and pants and staying in rooms with screened windows or air conditioning, if possible.

Pregnant women or couples considering pregnancy should keep in mind the virus has also been transmitted to woman through sex.

"The most important thing is to keep Zika virus away from the developing fetus, whether by not traveling or by using condoms or avoiding sex during pregnancy if your partner has traveled," said MDH mosquito disease specialist David Neitzel.

Symptoms of the virus include fever, rash, joint aches and eye redness.

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