- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 19, 2016

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The Rhode Island Department of Health says it has confirmed the first case of the Zika virus in the state.

The agency announced Tuesday that a man in his 60s had tested positive for the viral infection. The man had recently traveled to Haiti, where there is active mosquito-borne transmission of Zika.

Health Director Nicole Alexander-Scott says the risk to the general public is low, but the agency is coordinating with doctors, especially those who work with pregnant women, on how to identify symptoms and educate patients about prevention.

The virus is primarily transmitted through bites from infected mosquitoes. The species that are known to transmit Zika aren’t found in Rhode Island.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Zika can cause microcephaly and other birth defects.

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This story has been corrected to show that the Rhode Island Department of Health confirmed the case, not the Rhode Island Department of Public Health.

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