Sonora Had 40 Percent Of 2018 Mexican Zika Cases

By Murphy Woodhouse
Published: Wednesday, January 9, 2019 - 8:45am
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2019 - 9:37am

There were 347 confirmed cases of the mosquito-born virus Zika in Sonora last year, according to recent federal data. That’s 40 percent of the total nationwide. It’s also more than four times the total seen in the state in the previous three years combined.

Twenty-four of the infections were found in pregnant women.

“Because there do continue to be more cases, we are asking pregnant women to avoid travel to Mexico if at all possible,” said Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine, of the Maricopa County Public Health Department. “And if they do go, to make sure to wear insect repellent, and avoid having unprotected sex.”

The health department first issued a warning in response to a spike in cases in Sonora last October. She says there was just one reported new case in Sonora the last week of December.

Public health experts previously told KJZZ that the spike could be due in part to late season rainfall and an unseasonably warm fall. Temperatures have since dropped dramatically, with some parts of the state seeing significant snowfall. The mosquito species that carries Zika — Aedis Aegypti — does not do well in the cold.

Zika infections in pregnant women can lead to microcephaly and other birth defects.

Sinaloa, the Mexican state just to Sonora’s south, had the third highest number of cases with 124 confirmed infections.

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