NY to Monitor Mosquitoes for Possible Zika Virus

ALBANY (AP) -

State health officials said Monday that the mosquito blamed for infecting people with the Zika virus isn’t found in New York, but they plan this spring to test related mosquitoes in New York City, Long Island and the lower Hudson Valley.

The only U.S. cases so far involve people who traveled to Brazil and other places where mosquito bites have been linked to Zika infections and increased numbers of babies born with a congenital brain and skull condition, said Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker.

There were nine confirmed cases in New York as of Friday, according to the Health Department. Its Wadsworth Center is testing blood and urine of people believed infected to confirm cases. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state would test for free anyone showing symptoms.

There’s no need to isolate or quarantine infected people, Zucker said in a conference call. The symptoms are usually mild, can include a rash, fever, joint pain, or conjunctivitis and appear a few days after a bite by an infected mosquito. Zika can’t be spread by casual human contact.