Six more South Carolina residents contract Zika, bringing statewide total to 17

An Aedes aegypti mosquito is photographed through a microscope at the Fiocruz institute in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Seventeen Zika cases have been confirmed in South Carolina.

There are now 17 confirmed cases of Zika virus in South Carolina.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control announced Tuesday that six additional residents had been diagnosed with Zika virus since their last update Saturday.

According to state health officials, the six new cases were contracted while the residents were traveling abroad in countries and territories where the virus is active.

Sixteen of the confirmed cases to date involve residents who were infected while traveling abroad.

“One case involved a South Carolina resident who had sexual contact with someone who acquired the Zika infection while traveling abroad,” DHEC wrote on its website.

The Zika virus is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes — both of which are found in South Carolina. There is no evidence that they are spreading the disease locally.

Experts confirmed in April that Zika is linked to babies being born with smaller heads, or microcephaly. In those cases, the mothers are infected during pregnancy, which is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is suggesting that pregnant women not travel to countries where Zika is prominent.

The CDC reported July 6 that 1,133 U.S. citizens have tested positive for Zika. That includes 14 sexually-transmitted cases and 320 cases among pregnant women.

Symptoms of the virus include fever, rash and joint pain, though many patients never experience them. The illness is usually mild and only one of every five people who contract Zika actually get sick.

Symptoms of the virus include fever, rash and joint pain, though many patients never experience them. The illness is usually mild and only one of every five people who contract Zika actually get sick.