Snohomish sees 2nd case of Zika, in traveler to Ecuador

EVERETT — The second case of a Zika infection has been confirmed in Snohomish County, this time in a young woman who traveled in Ecuador.

Snohomish Health District officials said Tuesday that the woman was between 18 and 25 years old. Ecuador is one of the areas known to have mosquitoes infected with the Zika virus.

The types of mosquitoes that can spread the disease are not found in Washington.

“We’re the third largest county in the state and we’ve got a lot of folks involved in business with international travel,” said Dr. Gary Goldbaum, health officer for the Snohomish Health District. “It’s not surprising that there would be cases popping up.”

There have now been 11 people statewide who have been infected with the Zika virus, according to the state Department of Health. Nationally, the virus is known to have infected 1,133 people.

Not everyone who travels to countries were Zika has been confirmed will get infected, and even some people who are infected may have no symptoms, Goldbaum said.

The symptoms caused by the virus generally are mild, such as headache, a low-grade fever, and joint pain which lasts a few days to a week.

The virus is not easily spread person-to-person. However, it can be sexually transmitted from an infected man to a woman, which is of concern if the woman is pregnant or is thinking of becoming pregnant.

That’s because the virus can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, a condition where the baby’s head is much smaller than usual. That can cause seizures and developmental delays. Federal health officials have advised pregnant women to avoid traveling to countries where the virus has been detected.

“For us, the concern is about sexual transmission and maternal-to-child transmission,” Goldbaum said. “We’re trying to get the word out especially to any couples trying to conceive.”

For young women who may have been exposed to the virus, “we would advise that they delay attempting to conceive for at least eight weeks,” he said. “The best evidence is that the virus will tend to disappear from the woman’s body, or at least no longer pose a threat to pregnancy after eight weeks.”

Men should either abstain from sex or use condoms for up to six months after being diagnosed with Zika, because the virus has been detected in semen for several months after an infection, Goldbaum said.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486;

Talk to us

More in Local News

News logo for use with stories about Mill Creek in Snohomish County, WA.
Mill Creek house fire leaves 1 dead

The fire was contained to a garage in the 15300 block of 25th Drive SE. A person was found dead inside.

Firefighters respond to a house fire Wednesday morning in the 3400 block of Broadway. (Everett Fire Department)
3 hospitalized in critical condition after Everett house fire

Firefighters rescued two people, one of whom uses a wheelchair, from the burning home in the 3400 block of Broadway.

The Walmart Store on 11400 Highway 99 on March 21, 2023 in in Everett, Washington. The retail giant will close the store on April 21, 2023. (Janice Podsada / The Herald)
Walmart announces Everett store on Highway 99 will close on April 21

The Arkansas-based retail giant said the 20-year-old Walmart location was “underperforming financially.”

Michael Tolley (Northshore School District)
Michael Tolley named new Northshore School District leader

Tolley, interim superintendent since last summer, is expected to inherit the position permanently in July.

Logo for news use, for stories regarding Washington state government — Olympia, the Legislature and state agencies. No caption necessary. 20220331
New forecast show state revenues won’t be quite as robust as expected

Democratic budget writers say they will be cautious but able to fund their priorities. Senate put out a capital budget Monday.

Everett Memorial Stadium and Funko Field on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Drive to build new AquaSox ballpark gets $7.4M boost from state

The proposed Senate capital budget contains critical seed money for the city-led project likely to get matched by the House.

Angelica Montanari and daughter Makena, 1, outside of the Community Health Center of Snohomish County Everett-Central Clinic on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Providers at Community Health Center of Snohomish County vote to form a union

Providers expressed hope for improving patient care and making their voices heard with management.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
A thumbs up for capital gains, kind words for the Senate budget

It’s Day 75. Here’s what’s happening in the 2023 session of the Washington Legislature

Logo for news use, for stories regarding Washington state government — Olympia, the Legislature and state agencies. No caption necessary. 20220331
Supreme Court rules state’s new capital gains tax is legal

The 7-2 ruling clears the way for collection of payments starting next month. The tax is expected to bring in $500 million a year.

Most Read