Zika, West Nile Cases Reported in Alabama

Multiple reports of Zika virus and West Nile virus are being investigated by Alabama health officials.

They noted that Zika hasn't been transmitted locally, the New York Post reported.

"To date in Alabama, the Zika virus has only been identified in individuals known to have traveled to areas where Zika is known to be endemic. There has been no local transmission," the state's health agency said in a news release issued Monday.

People can get Zika virus from mosquito bites, sex and blood transfusions, and a pregnant woman can pass it to her baby, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Infection with the Zika virus causes only mild symptoms in the majority of the cases, but the biggest risk is to pregnant women," Alabama health officials explained. "Zika is now known to cause birth defects and other poor pregnancy-related outcomes if infection occurs during pregnancy."

West Nile is spread by mosquitoes. Most people who are infected have mild or no symptoms and fully recover, but about 1 in 5 develop a fever and may also have headaches, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, or a rash, and about 1 in 150 develop serious illness such as inflammation of the spinal cord or brain, the CDC says.

You can protect yourself from mosquito bites by using insect repellents and wearing loose, long sleeve shirts and long pants, the Post reported.

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