NAPA, Calif. (KTVU) - The first case of the Zika virus in Napa County has been reported. The mosquito-borne virus, linked to a severe birth defect if contracted by pregnant women, has now made an appearance in the North Bay.
A pregnant woman whose name has been withheld by Napa County Public Health officials has now tested positive for the virus.
Napa County's health officer announced on Wednesday, that the good news for that pregnant woman is that she's now showing no signs of the virus, despite being sick after she returned from Central America about a month ago.
"The general symptoms of Zika virus are fever, rash, red eyes or conjunctivitis, and joint pain," said Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Relucio.
Zika virus is a dangerous pathogen that's being spread around dozens of tropical countries by mosquitos. What's perhaps most frightening about the virus is its possible link to what's called microcephaly, which causes dramatically stunted brain and skull growth in babies. It can be fatal before and after birth.
Officials are emphasizing that despite this confirmed case, there is no public health threat.
While there have been some cases nationally of people contracting the disease through sexual contact, health experts say that's not an issue here.
"I think the important thing is to get the message out there is to any pregnant women, considering travel to areas where Zika virus transmission is taking place, should either abstain from travel there or they should consult with their health care provider," said Dr. Relucio.
Those areas include Central and South America and the Caribbean. If you are going to any of those places, make sure to use bug spray and other methods to avoid being bitten by mosquitos
“Anyone who is planning to travel to a country with active Zika virus transmission should consult with their healthcare provider before leaving, especially if they are pregnant or are considering becoming pregnant," said Dr. Relucio.
For information on local mosquito monitoring and control contact the Napa County Mosquito Abatement District at (707) 553-9610.