Researcher Accidentally Infects Self with Zika

An unidentified researcher at the University of Pittsburgh has contracted the virus after mishandling a needle.

Jun 14, 2016
Catherine Offord

PIXABAY, FROLICSOMEPLA lab worker at the University of Pittsburgh became infected with Zika virus last month (May 23) after accidentally sticking herself with a needle. According to a university spokesperson, the researcher developed symptoms on June 1, and returned to work on June 6 when the fever abated, Reuters reported.

Confirming the infection as the fourth Zika case in the U.S., the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) released a statement calling the case “unique,” as the infected woman contracted the virus in a lab, not through mosquito-borne or sexual transmission. “We want to remind residents that, despite this rare incident, there is still no current risk of contracting Zika from mosquitoes in Allegheny County,” ACHD Director Karen Hacker added in the statement.

As a precaution to reduce chances of transmission, the researcher will wear long sleeves and pants, and use insect repellant for three weeks, The New York Times reported. When asked whether there were any related cases, Hacker told the New York Times, “we do not know of any others.”