NH DHHS - First Case of Zika Virus Detected in New Hampshire

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS) is announcing the first confirmed case of a New Hampshire resident

infected with Zika virus. The adult female patient contracted the virus

after sexual contact with a male who was symptomatic and had traveled to a

country where Zika virus transmission is occurring. The patient has fully

recovered and is not pregnant.

“The New Hampshire patient we are announcing today was infected with Zika

through sexual contact with someone who traveled to a location with active

Zika transmission” said Marcella Bobinsky, Acting Director of Public Health

at DHHS. “Identifying cases in New Hampshire is not unexpected, although

the most common means of transmission of the virus is through the bite of

infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Sexual transmission is less common. Our

greatest concern is for pregnant women who may be exposed to the virus

through travel, or the travel of their partners, because Zika has been

associated with severe birth defects, including microcephaly. The

mosquitoes that transmit Zika are not found in New Hampshire.”

The mosquito-borne virus has caused the U.S. Centers for Disease Control

and Prevention (CDC) to issue travel warnings for pregnant women. People

who have questions about their travel plans should consult with their

healthcare provider. DHHS is also encouraging college students and others

who may be traveling to Zika-affected regions this spring, including South

America, Central America, the Caribbean, Pacific Islands, and U.S.

territories to take strict precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes.

Because Zika can also be transmitted sexually, pregnant women with a male

partner who travels to a Zika-affected area should either abstain from

sexual activity, or use condoms correctly and consistently for the duration

of their pregnancy to protect the unborn fetus. Additionally, until we know

more about the risks of sexual transmission, non-pregnant women of

childbearing age who travel, or who have a male partner that travels, to a

Zika-affected region, should talk with their healthcare providers about

their pregnancy plans and take steps to avoid any unintended pregnancy,

including correct and consistent condom use.

DHHS is working with the CDC to enhance the state Public Health

Laboratory's testing capabilities, protocols and certifications for Zika.

DHHS has also worked to inform health care providers and the general public

about the Zika virus, prevention efforts and other resources. To date, DHHS

has issued two Health Alerts and held a webinar to help educate health care

providers on treatment and prevention of Zika. It has also launched a web

page for public access to these resources and information on the virus. For

more information, visit the DHHS Zika webpage at


Symptoms of Zika infection include fever, rash, conjunctivitis, and joint

pain. Most people (~80%) infected with the virus do not develop any

symptoms. There is no vaccine against Zika and no medicine to treat the

virus. People who are concerned that they may have been exposed to Zika or

who have symptoms of Zika virus infection should talk with their healthcare


For more information on Zika, visit our website at www.dhhs.nh.gov or the

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov .