Second case of Zika virus found in Monterey County resident who traveled to Mexico

Monterey County is recording its second case of Zika virus infection found in a resident who visited Mexico last month, county health officials said today.

The resident sought medical care after returning from their trip and was confirmed to have the virus based on county and state laboratory results, health officials said.

The second case was confirmed on Tuesday, exactly a month after the first one was found in another resident who traveled to Central America in June and Jul., according to health officials.

The virus is transmitted through the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, sexual activity and blood transfusions. Women can also pass the virus if they're pregnant or delivering a child and it can result in visual and hearing impairments, fetal demise and microcephaly, a condition in which a baby's head is smaller than usual, according to health officials.

Though not common, people with the virus can experience symptoms of fever, rash, joint pain, headache and red eyes. The symptoms can last for three to seven days and continue for multiple weeks, according to health officials.

"I strongly encourage pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant to avoid travel to areas where Zika virus transmission is occurring," county Health Officer Dr. Edward Moreno said in a statement. "I also encourage expecting couples who have had potential Zika virus exposure to consult with their obstetricians. In addition, all individuals traveling to areas where Zika virus transmission is occurring should take steps to avoid mosquito bites," Moreno said.

The public can prevent mosquito bites by wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants, sleeping in mosquito bed nets and using insect repellent, according to health officials.

As of today, there were 241 affected state residents, 32 of whom were pregnant women, who caught the virus by travel, health officials said.

More information on the virus can be found through the county Health Department's communicable disease unit at (831) 755-4521 or online at