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Second Case Of Zika Virus Confirmed In L.A. County

aedes_mosquito.jpg
The disease is spread via Aedes mosquitos (Photo by Chik_77 via Shutterstock)
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A pregnant woman from Los Angeles County is infected with Zika virus after traveling abroad, according to a release from the L.A. County Department of Public Health. She's the second Angeleno to be infected with the virus.

The first case was reported in November: a young girl who traveled to El Salvador in November who has since recovered, according the L.A. Times.

Though the virus usually presents only minor symptoms, Zika seems to be linked to a surge of microcephaly cases in Brazil. Microcephaly is a birth defect that causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads, leading to brain damage.

L.A. County's Public Health department has issued a travel warning for Angelenos headed to several Latin American and Caribbean countries where Zika infections are more widespread.

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So far, no one has actually picked up the disease in L.A. However, the Aedes mosquito, the species known to carry the virus, is found throughout the San Gabriel Valley. A total of 14 Californians have been infected with the virus since 2014, including six this year.

Like other mosquito transmitted viruses like West Nile, the easiest way to keep risk to a minimum is to eliminate standing water.

“People can reduce the spread of Aedes mosquitoes by eliminating sites around their homes where mosquitoes may breed by getting rid of containers and any other sites where water may collect and mosquitoes lay their eggs,” County officials said in a statement.