Zika virus case confirmed at Lehigh University

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (WPVI) -- Lehigh University has confirmed one of their students has tested positive for the Zika virus.

The school says the student had traveled abroad during the winter break.

"We have been informed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health that one of our students who traveled abroad over the winter break has tested positive for the Zika virus. We are grateful to be able to report that the student has recovered and is feeling well," a statement released on the school's website says.

The school added state health officials indicate there is no additional health risk to anyone on campus, news that has put students at ease.

"We talked about it in my immunology class and, in some respects, the hype about it is kind of overblown," said Ken Brill, junior. "It's not as contagious as people think it is, but, for the most part, I think it's definitely an issue that needs to be addressed."

Health officials tell us the Zika virus is predominately spread through mosquitoes. The type which carry the virus are not common in our area, but are found in other parts of the county.

There are now 66 cases of Zika virus in the United States, including two women in Pennsylvania and one in Delaware.

All but one of the total cases were acquired outside the U.S in areas where the virus is spreading.

That one of those cases ended up at Lehigh University is something students say they aren't very concerned about.

"I feel like it's gonna be like the Swine flu epidemic where people are gonna overreact for a little while then it will breeze over," said Brian Judge, sophomore.

"I haven't been too worried cause I know the mosquito isn't really prevalent in this area, it can't survive in the cold," said Kelsey Alpaio, graduate student. "So I haven't been too scared about it, and I don't have any plans for traveling abroad at the time."

Even though the mosquito is not prevalent in this area, health officials say it is likely we will see more cases as people travel to other areas where the virus is on the rise.
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