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First Zika Case Confirmed In Lexington

FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2016, file photo, a female Aedes aegypti mosquito acquires a blood meal on the arm of a researcher at the Biomedical Sciences Institute in the Sao Paulo's University in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2016, file photo, a female Aedes aegypti mosquito acquires a blood meal on the arm of a researcher at the Biomedical Sciences Institute in the Sao Paulo's University in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Lexington now has its first lab-confirmed case of the Zika virus. The disease was detected in a Fayette County infant born to a woman who traveled to a Zika hotspot.

Though the mother never reported any symptoms, test results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the presence of antibodies meant to fight the illness in her child. While Zika is known to cause severe birth defects, the baby has not obvious physical abnormalities.

Fayette County Health Commissioner Kraig Humbaugh says there is no evidence the primarily mosquito-borne virus is making the rounds in Kentucky, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

"It could at some point be circulating in our mosquitoes here in the continental United States, probably first in areas that are in the southern U.S. But we do have the mosquitoes that carry this particular virus, so they're capable of doing that," he says.

Humbaugh urges all residents to consider postponing trips to affected regions and to cut down on contact with mosquitoes at home whenever possible.

"The main precautions to reduce risk are wearing long-sleeves, light-colored clothing, avoiding going out during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are the most active, and finally wearing EPA-approved mosquito repellent," Humbaugh advises.

So far 10 cases of Zika have been identified in the state – all associated with travel outside the U.S. For a full and updated list of affected countries, visit the CDC's website.

Copyright 2016 WUKY

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now known as Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and Program Director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.