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Zika case confirmed in Erie County


Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein has confirmed the first case of the Zika virus in the county.

Dr. Burstein cited doctor-patient confidentiality in giving few details about the patient, other than to say the unidentified person was diagnosed on Wednesday after showing symptoms consistent with Zika following a visit to El Salvador.

There now have been more than 15 reported cases of the Zika virus in New York State.

Dr. Burstein says for most people it is not considered a serious risk; however in Latin and South America, the mosquito-borne virus has spread quickly, and is suspected as a cause of a birth defect called microcephaly.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.