Pregnant Weber County woman contracts Zika virus after Mexico trip, health officials confirm

Save Story

Show 1 more video

Leer en español

Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

OGDEN — A pregnant Weber County woman has contracted the Zika virus after traveling to Mexico, a health official confirmed Monday.

The woman developed a rash after returning from Mexico and underwent two tests that both tested positive for the virus, said Weber-Morgan Health Department spokeswoman Lori Buttars.

The woman is the first Weber County resident confirmed to have contracted Zika, according to Buttars. The incident is considered a "travel-related case," she said.

Citing medical privacy law, Buttars declined to release further information about the woman except that she is "young." She didn't know how recently the woman had traveled to Mexico.

Buttars said the woman will receive guidance and instructions from the National Birth Defects Prevention Network, per protocol.

The spokeswoman advised anyone who travels to countries with high incidents of Zika to follow all local advisories about prevention and avoiding exposure to mosquito bites. She added that this time of year is also most potent for contraction of the West Nile virus.

Also Monday, the Utah Department of Health advised all travelers returning from the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro to take steps designed to prevent the spread of Zika.

"Even if someone doesn't feel sick, travelers returning to the United States from an area with Zika virus should take steps to prevent mosquito bites for three weeks, such as using insect repellant with DEET and removing breeding areas from around homes," health department spokeswoman Charla Haley said in a prepared statement.

Zika can be spread by a bite from an infected mosquito, which differentiates it from the West Nile virus, Haley said. Zika can also be spread through sex.

Any pregnant women with a sexual partner who has traveled to Brazil is advised to use condoms for any type of intercourse during the entire course of the pregnancy, Haley said.

Women who are trying to become pregnant and are returning from a Zika-affected area are advised to confer with a doctor about the possible risks of a Zika infection, she said.

Generally, those who may have been exposed to Zika are urged to wait at least eight weeks from the time of exposure before trying to get pregnant.

Most Zika victims exhibit mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, Haley said. But a pregnant woman's infection can lead to serious birth defects, including an unusually small head and brain, developmental issues, hearing loss and eye problems. The risk for miscarriage is also increased.

Expectant mothers and women who plan to get pregnant can call the pregnancy safety nonprofit group MotherToBaby at 800-822-2229 or text the organization at 855-999-3525. More information about Zika's risks can also be found at

Health officials are still investigating an unusual case of Zika in Salt Lake County in which an elderly man's son contracted the virus. None of the well-documented risk factors for virus transmission are present in the case, which was reported in July.

The man's elderly father died in late June. Officials called it the first Zika-related death in the continental United States and added that the man's death may have also been partly due to an underlying health condition.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists several protections against mosquitos on its website.

Contributing: Dave Cawley

Related stories

Most recent Utah stories

Related topics

Ben Lockhart


    Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast