Sitka hospital treats first known Alaskan case of Zika Virus

first_imgThe state department of Health and Social Services announced the first known case of the Zika Virus in Alaska today. The patient was treated at SEARHC’s Mt. Edgcumbe Hospital in Sitka. The patient, a male from the midwest, traveled in Central America before arriving in Alaska, where he began to experience unusual symptoms.Listen nowA digitally-colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of Zika virus. Andrea Ferrante hopes that the use of peptides will allow for vaccines for viruses such as Zika. (Wikimedia commons photo courtesy of Center for Disease Control)Katy Pugh is a registered nurse and an infection prevention specialist at the hospital.“He came to our emergency room here at Mount Edgecumbe Hospital for evaluation. He had a rash, a fever, and conjunctivitis, his eyes were red, irritated and red.”The patient was evaluated and the Zika diagnosis was confirmed by a lab test. The man did not require hospitalization.The patient has returned home to the Midwest, and SEARHC officials say there is no risk the virus will spread to the public.Zika can be spread through intravenous drug use or sexual activity. Alaskan mosquitoes cannot transmit the virus. Zika is linked to birth defects and brain damage in newborns, as well as temporary paralysis in adults.There is no CDC recommended treatment for Zika, just rest, water, and nourishment. Symptoms can be mild and usually only require rest and care.last_img read more