Zika no longer infectious

LIHUE — Kauai’s one case of Zika virus is no longer infectious, according to the Hawaii Department of Health.

The case, confirmed in mid-March, was one of five imported cases that have been confirmed in Hawaii since DOH became involved in monitoring the dengue fever outbreak in October 2015. The other four cases were confirmed on Oahu.

“All of the cases were imported,” said Anna Koethe, DOH spokeswoman. “They were not acquired within the state of Hawaii.”

The Kauai person with Zika, for instance, had recently returned from Latin America when they was diagnosed with Zika.

The name and location of residence of the Kauai person was kept secret to protect their privacy, but the Vector Control team visited the property and got rid of the small amount of mosquito larvae in the area.

Though the illness, which has been linked to birth defects, is done with Kauai for now, Koethe said imported mosquito-borne diseases have always been, and remains, a potential concern.

“It is difficult to assess exactly how large the risk is, because it depends on many factors,” Koethe said.

Those factors include disease activity outside the state, the infectiousness of the disease agent, presence of mosquitoes and risk of being bitten, and the health of the person themselves.

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