A pregnant woman from Connecticut tested positive for the Zika virus after traveling to Central America, the Department of Public Health said.
The child was conceived during the woman's trip, according to the DPH. While traveling, the woman became ill with a fever and rash, the department said. The woman is about 11 weeks pregnant, DPH Commissioner Raul Pino said.
The woman has since returned to Central America but the DPH had contacted her Connecticut physician in an effort to get in touch with the patient or her family to ensure she seeks medical care.
“We are working with the patient’s physician to ensure that both the physician and the patient have all the necessary information and guidance they need,” said Pino. “This virus is very dangerous for the babies of pregnant women, causing serious birth defects and miscarriages."
Pino said the woman, who is originally from Central America, left the state on Feb. 5 and returned on March 30. She had began developing symptoms on March 17, Pino said. He was not sure when she traveled back to Central America after that, he said in a press conference on Tuesday.
Pino warns women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant avoid travel to Zika-stricken areas. He said while the virus itself is mild for adults, it could be quite severe for fetuses.
"The more that we learn, the more grave it looks," Pino said at the press conference.
Tuesday's results is the third positive test in Connecticut and first for a pregnant woman.
Editor's Note: Officials from the Department of Public Health originally said the woman had gone to South America.