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Zika Researcher Contracts Virus After Accidentally Pricking Herself With a Needle


A researcher at the University of Pittsburgh investigating the Zika virus has contracted it by accidentally sticking herself with a needle.

Read: Pregnant 'Today' Show Anchor Savannah Guthrie Won't Attend Rio Olympics Over Zika Fears

The university said the woman, who has not been identified, stuck herself with the needle May 23 and began showing symptoms June 1.

It is the fourth confirmed case of the virus in America this year and is the most unique, as the woman did not travel to a Zika infested area, nor did she contract it through sexual contact.

“We want to remind residents that, despite this rare incident, there is still no current risk of contracting Zika from mosquitos in Allegheny County. For those traveling to countries affected by Zika, we urge caution. Pregnant women particularly should avoid travel to affected countries.” said Dr. Karen Hacker, Director of the Allegheny County Health Department in a press release.

Zika is mainly transmitted through infected Aedes mosquitos, which are common in warm climates. Symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis. The virus has also been linked to fetal malformations.

Read: Baby Born With Zika-Related Birth Defects in New Jersey Hospital

Currently there is no vaccine to prevent or treat the virus.

The university has confirmed that the symptoms in the unidentified researcher have resolved and she is doing well. According to CBS Pittsburgh, the researcher was able to return to work on June 6 after being fever-free.

Individuals who have traveled to affected areas who have symptoms of Zika or are pregnant should contact their primary physician, or may call the Allegheny County Health Department at 412-687-ACHD (2243).

Watch: Thousands May Cancel Travel Plans to Rio Olympics As Zika Virus Spreads

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