It happened sooner rather than later. The first case of Zika Virus infection in Indiana was confirmed on February 9, 2016. With the Zika epidemic spreading across the Caribbean, it was inevitable that an infected traveler would return to Indiana. Fortunately, the weather in much of the state is below freezing with snow cover. This means no mosquitoes to transmit the disease at this time. However, this is an early warning that travelers will be returning during the summer months at the peak of mosquito activity. The need to prepare for summer is clear.
The infected traveler had been to Haiti and symptoms were mild as is the case with most infections. Indiana has substantial travel to Haiti. Many charity groups travel to Haiti to provide services to Haiti’s poor. Destinations such as Puerto Rico and other islands have many tourists. It is important for travelers to take precautions against mosquito bites. A good repellent effectively applied is a must. Clothing, hats and blankets embedded with mosquito repellent are available and can enhance the effectiveness of other repellents. Travelers need to be especially alert when traveling to countries experiencing epidemics.