An unnamed researcher at the University of Pittsburgh stuck herself with a needle on May 23 while conducting an experiment in the lab. Nine days later she came down with a fever. She recovered from her symptoms and returned to work, but tests came back confirming she’d contracted Zika.
CNN reports that she is fully recovered, but the case worried many in the area. It was unique, in that the researcher had neither traveled to a place where the virus is circulating nor been in sexual contact with someone who had, unlike other confirmed cases of Zika in the U.S.
The University’s health department’s director, Dr. Karen Hacker, released a statement to allay fears from the community about an outbreak:
“On advice of the ACHD (Allegheny County Health Department), the researcher is complying with a request to wear long sleeves and pants and wear insect repellent for three weeks from the date of contact...We want to remind residents that, despite this rare incident, there is still no current risk of contracting Zika from mosquitoes in Allegheny County.
The CDC researchers and Colorado State University also shared a new map showing the spread of the Zika-carrying Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes in the U.S., reports of which have jumped from 183 counties from 26 states to 1,241 counties from 40 states between January 1995 and March 2016. However, they believe an outbreak in the U.S. of any severity is unlikely, as we more commonly use air conditioning and window screens.
Image via AP.