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Virginia college student contracts Zika virus

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — A student at the College of William and Mary contracted the Zika virus while traveling in Central America over winter break, college officials said.

The university said the student is expected to recover and isn’t experiencing symptoms.

The school also said that after consulting with its own health and wellness team and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it believes there is no health risk to anyone on campus.

Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that has been linked to severe birth defects. US public health officials are advising pregnant women to avoid travel to countries where the Zika virus is active. The virus has spread across Central and South America; the only known US cases have been in people who have traveled in that region.


The most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis.

Officials confirmed the first case of Zika virus in Massachusetts last week. The Boston Public Health Commission said an unidentified city resident contracted the virus while traveling abroad and is expected to make a full recovery.

In New York, state health officials said there were nine confirmed cases in the state as of Friday.

Although the mosquito blamed for infecting people with the Zika virus isn’t found in New York state, officials plan this spring to check related mosquitoes in New York City, Long Island, and the lower Hudson Valley.

Dr. Howard Zucker, the New York health commissioner, said there is no need to isolate infected people, and Zika can’t be spread by casual human contact.