Accidental Zika infection at Pittsburgh lab

A lab worker from the University of Pittsburgh accidentally stuck herself with a needle while working with the Zika virus, resulting in what appears to be the first known Zika infection occurring in a laboratory, according to The New York Times.

The accident occurred on May 23, after which the unidentified researcher developed symptoms attributable to the virus. A blood sample confirmed the infection. The researcher returned to work on June 6 and reportedly has to wear long sleeves and pants and apply insect repellant for three weeks, according to the Times.

Karen Hacker, MD, director of the Allegheny County Health Department, said, "We want to remind residents that, despite this rare incident, there is still no current risk of contracting Zika from mosquitoes in Allegheny County. For those traveling to countries affected by Zika, we urge caution. Pregnant women particularly should avoid travel to affected countries."

Recently, the World Health Organization issued guidance, recommending couples in regions where local Zika transmission is prevalent to consider delaying pregnancy.

The CDC named lab safety as one of its six public health threats to focus on in 2016.

More articles on the Zika virus: 
Researchers on a medical road trip through Brazil are using mobile labs to track Zika  
Olympics could see as few as 15 Zika infections, researchers claim  
Study: Zika directly infects brain cells, subverts immune system 

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