Lehigh student infected by Zika virus

Gillian Dunlop

It was confirmed Wednesday that a Lehigh University student has been infected by the Zika virus, after traveling abroad over winter break. At press time, the student is reported to be recovering well, according to an article published by The Morning Call.

The number of people affected by the Zika virus in Pennsylvania is up to two, according an article in The Patriot News earlier this week.

A New York Times article described the Zika virus as a “mosquito-transmitted infection related to dengue, yellow fever and the West Nile virus.” It is common in Africa and Asia, but did not begin spreading to the Western Hemisphere until last May, when it was discovered in Brazil.

Experts believe that the virus is spread exclusively through mosquitos although three cases occurring in 2008, 2013, and early February have suggested that it can be transmitted through sexual intercourse.

Individuals who may have contracted the Zika virus are recommended to use condoms for at least a month after returning from areas where Zika is transmitted, according to The New York Times.

The same article reported that for most people, the virus causes no symptoms and has no lasting effects. However, if a pregnant woman is infected, her unborn fetus could suffer from brain damage.