What Pennsylvania & federal records say about Zika in 2018

From Lancaster Online
January 3, 2019

Almost three years since the Zika virus burst onto the international news, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention show zero Pennsylvania cases in 2018.

The CDC listing shows only symptomatic cases confirmed by a laboratory, so that doesn’t mean the virus that spreads by mosquitoes and sex and can cause serious birth defects wasn’t here at all.

Nate Wardle, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Health, said in an email that Pennsylvania did have three pregnant women this year who had Zika but did not show symptoms.

“The department tracks these pregnancies through delivery and the child’s infant life to check up on the children and review their health,” he wrote, not offering details on how those mothers and babies are doing.

Last December the Department of Health’s running tally stood at 152 confirmed Zika infections in Pennsylvania, and 80 possible ones, since 2015.

Wardle noted that Pennsylvania has never had a “locally transmitted” Zika case — that is, one spread by a mosquito bite in the state.

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