AP file photo (Felipe Dana)

Jan 29, 2016 6:11 PM

NH taking steps to prepare for Zika virus as US infections increase

The Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Gov. Maggie Hassan and public health and emergency management officials are taking steps to prepare for the Zika virus, even though there's no immediate threat to N.H. residents.

READ: New England's first case of Zika virus confirmed by health officials

State public health officials are working with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to enhance the state Public Health Laboratories testing capabilities, protocols and certifications for Zika and coordinating with medical providers and infectious disease clinicians across the state.

On Thursday, health officials said the number of U.S. residents diagnosed with Zika infections in the past year has grown to 31.

The first New England case was confirmed Thursday, and officials said they wouldn't be surprised to see the number of infections increase.

The Department of Health and Human Services also has launched a Zika website for public access to resources and information about the virus.

The virus outbreak has been localized in Southern and Central America.

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