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Health, Science & Tech

Pitt Lab Researcher Accidentally Infects Herself With Zika

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Flickr user Hitthatswitch
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A lab worker at the University of Pittsburgh has contracted the Zika virus by accidentally sticking herself with a needle.

The Allegheny County Health Department reported the county’s fourth case Thursday.

According to a Pitt spokesman, the accident occurred on May 23. The worker developed symptoms by June 1 and returned to work on June 6.

In a statement, ACHD director Karen Hacker said, “there is still no current risk of contracting Zika from mosquitos in Allegheny County.”

However, the worker has been instructed to wear long sleeves and pants and use insect repellent with DEET for three weeks following the incident.

The aedes aegypti mosquito which carries the Zika virus is present in Pennsylvania, but experts say local transmission is highly unlikely at this point in time.

The Pitt School of Public Health recently launched an initiative aimed at finding a cure for Zika. The effort capitalizes on a long-standing relationship with the Brazilian Ministry of Health.