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Five cases of Zika confirmed in WV so far

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Four more cases of Zika virus, the mosquito-borne illness responsible for major birth defects in hundreds of South American babies, have been confirmed in West Virginians who have traveled outside the country, according to state health officials.

The Department of Health and Human Resources said there have been five total cases in the state. The first, a Clay County man who traveled to Haiti for a church mission trip, was confirmed in early March. The other four cases are among others who traveled to Haiti for the same mission trip, although the DHHR did not release their home counties.

Since late January, the DHHR has sent 24 samples for testing to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It has received the results for the five positive tests, as well as 13 negative tests, and is awaiting the results of six more tests, according to Dr. Rahul Gupta, commissioner of the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health.

In March, Gupta told reporters that eight of the 11 tests pending at the CDC at the time were samples from pregnant women; all of those test results have since been received and no pregnant women were among the five diagnosed with Zika, Gupta said.

Of the six samples still pending, one is for a pregnant woman…

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