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Gov. Malloy issues travel warning after 4th Zika case confirmed

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HARTFORD -- Governor Dannel Malloy urged residents, especially pregnant women or those planning to become pregnant, from traveling to areas where Zika is running rampant. These areas include South America, the Caribbean, and Puerto Rico.

On Thursday, the state Department of Public Health confirmed that a fourth person in the state of Connecticut had tested positive for the virus.

The woman in her 30s is not pregnant. On April 25 she returned from the Caribbean to Connecticut and four days later she started feeling sick--she had a fever, rash and pink eye. The state lab is certified to test for Zika and confirmed the diagnosis.

There have been 426 cases of travel-related Zika reported in the continental United States so far, 36 of which were in pregnant women and eight of which were sexually transmitted.

In Connecticut, 245 patients, including 217 pregnant women, have been tested for Zika virus, but only four have tested positive, including one pregnant woman.

Zika is primarily transmitted through mosquitoes but can also spread sexually. The virus exhibits symptoms, but many times, people don't know they've been infected unless they get tested. The virus causes serious birth defects in newborns and there is no vaccine or cure available yet.

"As the summer travel season ramps up and it is essential for people to take precautions when traveling to regions that are impacted by the virus," said Malloy. "This is a national emergency. This deserves appropriate treatment."

Experts suggest using bug spray, wearing long-sleeved clothing, and staying in air-conditioned environments. But if you don't have to travel to any of those areas, you're advised not to.

Find out more about travel related to Zika here and learn more about the Zika virus here.