Zika virus update; No confirmed cases in state

Published: Jan. 30, 2016 at 12:59 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 30, 2016 at 4:38 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - As of Thursday, DHEC has shipped two blood serum samples to the CDC for testing of the Zika virus. Both of the samples have been ruled out for the Zika virus. In addition to these two, a third sample for blood serum testing will be shipped to the CDC.

News of the virus, which has been mainly detected in Latin America and the Caribbean, has some concerned.

"Last week a coworker was telling me, I don't know anything about this and I had no clue," says Kerri Briceno who's expecting her first child in May. "I started to research it...the news and CNN and what not, and it's really kind of terrifying what's going on."

She's been evaluating whether to travel to the Bahama's for a friends wedding in March after hearing about the Zika Virus.

The Bahamas does not have any known cases, but she's on heightened alert.

"You don't take antibiotics for it, usually you recover on your own. That's the course with this virus, this would be very mild if you're not pregnant, there would really be no concern because most people are going to recover normally and have a very mild course" says Dr. Christopher Robinson, a maternal and fetal physician for Roper St. Francis.

Women who are pregnant or soon to be should avoid areas where there are known cases of the virus.

"Certainly the cases that have caught people's eye are is the specific birth defect that is seen in Latin American and South American countries where babies have been born with smaller heads than expected," says Dr. Robinson.

Briceno says, "I definitely want to do what's best for my baby."

She says she will be discussing her travel plans with her doctor and will stay up to date on areas that are impacted with the virus.

Experts say one in five people won't feel any symptoms at all.

Those symptoms can include fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes.

"We've had some patients who were seen and some that are under consideration for testing and some that are having testing," says Dr. Robinson.

People are tested first based on where they traveled and secondly based on symptoms.

The best prevention is to take precautions to avoid getting a mosquito bite.

Pregnant women who are looking to travel should check the CDC Travel Advisory where it has an updated list of the areas impacted by the Zika Virus.

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