United States Laboratory Researcher Contracts Zika Accidentally


A recent hospital accident led to a United States laboratory researcher being infected with the Zika Virus after reportedly pricking herself with a needle during an experiment last month.

After several study on the disease, there is still no vaccine or treatment for Zika, and an estimated 80% of those infected with the virus show no symptoms.

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The United States laboratory researcher whose name is not known, pricked herself on May 23 at the University of Pittsburgh and showed symptoms on June 1. Five days later, she returned to work without so much as a fever as revealed in a statement by the school cited by ABC news.

This marks the fourth confirmed case of the Zika virus in Allegheny County, its health department said, while concealing details of the accident.

“Despite this rare incident, there is still no current risk of contracting Zika from mosquitos in Allegheny County,” department director Karen Hacker said in a statement.

A conclusion reached by the US health officials suggests that Zika infections in pregnant women can cause microcephaly, a birth defect characterized by small head size in the new born, that can also result in severe developmental problems in babies.

In addition, the World Health Organisation has said that there is strong scientific agreement that Zika can also cause Guillain-Barre, a rare neurological syndrome that leads to temporary paralysis in adults.

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Zika was first linked to microcephaly last fall in Brazil, and has now confirmed more than 1,400 cases of microcephaly that are considered to be related to Zika infections in the mothers.

ABC news added that the Pittsburgh researcher is using insect repellent to avoid mosquito bites, besides being clothed in long sleeves and trousers so as to reduce the chances of virus transmission.