- Associated Press - Friday, March 18, 2016

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico health officials say they have confirmed the state’s first case of the Zika virus.

They announced Friday that a 46-year-old Bernalillo County man has tested positive for the infection.

The unidentified man acquired the virus while travelling to Central America.

Deputy Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher, state epidemiologist Michael Landen and other officials announced the test results at a news conference Friday evening in Santa Fe.

The rare tropical disease has become an epidemic in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The mosquito-borne Zika virus usually causes a mild illness but is now suspected in an unusual birth defect and other health issues.

Health officials say nearly 260 lab-confirmed Zika infections have been reported in the 50 states in the last year. That count includes 18 pregnant women.

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