46 Cases of Zika Virus Reported in Illinois, Health Officials Say

Pregnant women are among nearly four dozen cases of the Zika virus reported in Illinois, the Illinois Department of Public Health said Thursday.

The department reported 46 total cases of the virus statewide, with eight women listed in the Zika Virus Pregnancy Registry.

A spokesperson for the department initially said the eight women were confirmed to have Zika virus, but later said five cases remained unclear. 

According to Divya Little with the IDPH, those five cases tested positive for a flavivirus, but Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials could not determine whether the women had Zika virus or Dengue fever. 

The updated numbers come amid a spike in cases in part of Miami, Florida.

Health officials in Illinois and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned pregnant women to avoid visiting the Wynwood District of Miami. Officials there say at least 15 non-travel related Zika infections have been discovered in and around that area.

Health authorities are testing mosquitoes and have not yet confirmed that anyone has been infected by a bite in the mainland U.S.

More than 1,300 Zika infections have been reported in the U.S. — none involving bites from local mosquitoes — 14 of these were sexually transmitted, and one lab worker was infected by a needle stick.

The virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. Common symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week, according to IDPH. 

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