UPDATE 9/2/2016: Monterey County is reporting its second travel-related Zika virus infection. 

Monterey County Public Health Laboratory and California Department of Public Health Laboratory confirmed the virus infection on Aug. 30. 

Public health officials say the individual had recently traveled to Mexico.

"All I can tell you is, that we know the people who get the Zika virus can typically get over it, and we anticipate that this person is doing OK," said Edward Moreno from Monterey County Health Department.

Officials say people in Monterey County are not at risk right now, but pregnant women and the health of their newborns remain the biggest concerns.

Experts have also been working hard to find a specific kind of mosquito responsible for spreading the Zika virus.

"We work closely with the Mosquito Abatement Vector Control here in Monterey County," Moreno said. "They are actively trapping mosquito, looking at mosquito and determining whether we have the Aedes species of mosquito that are known to transmit the Zika virus."

Since Aedes mosquitoes have not been found in Monterey County, officials say we are safe, for now.

"It's very unlikely that we would have transmission in Monterey County, like what we've been seeing in the counties in Florida," Moreno said.

Health officials are also warning people not to overlook familiar symptoms. 

"At first people might think they are getting the flu, but right now we are not in flu season," Moreno said. "So if anyone feels a lot of aches, pain and headaches, it's probably not the flu."

Moreno also have some advice for those traveling to Zika-infected areas.

"That would include wearing clothes with long sleeves, long pants, cover as much of your skin as possible. And in addition, use some type of insect repellent," Moreno said.

Visit the CDC and California Department of Public Health for more information.


The Monterey County Health Department is reporting the first travel-associated case of Zika virus in Monterey County. They say the person traveled to Central America in June and July and became ill when they returned to the United States. The person is recovering from the infection. No other information is being released because of privacy laws.

According to the health department, Zika virus is transmitted through mosquitoes, sexual contact and blood transfusions. It can be passed from mother to baby during pregnancy and delivery.

"I strongly encourage pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant to avoid travel to areas where Zika virus transmission is occurring," said Dr. Edward Moreno, health officer and director of public health. "I also encourage expecting couples who have had potential Zika-virus exposure to consult with their obstetricians. In addition, all individuals traveling to areas where Zika virus transmission is occurring should take steps to avoid mosquito bites."

According to the health department, there have been 114 travel-associated cases of Zika virus infections among Californians; nearly two dozen include pregnant women.

Health officials say people can limit their risk by using insect repellent containing DEET, wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants, and using mosquito bed nets.

Most people infected with Zika generally do not have symptoms. If they do, the most common are fever, rash, joint pain and redness of the eyes. Symptoms begin three to seven days after exposure.