- Associated Press - Thursday, March 24, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The first case of Zika virus has been reported in Mississippi.

The Mississippi State Department of Health said Thursday the case was in a Madison County resident who recently traveled to Haiti.

Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that may cause birth defects if contracted during pregnancy. The virus is primarily spread through bites from a specific mosquito. Zika virus infection can cause a mild illness with symptoms including fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes. However, 80 percent of those infected show no symptoms and death is rare.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs urged residents to be mindful of protecting themselves from mosquitoes while traveling to countries with Zika outbreaks, including Mexico or countries in South America and the Caribbean.

There are no available treatments or vaccines for Zika virus.

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