Health officials confirm 2 cases of Zika virus in southeast Texa - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Health officials confirm 2 cases of Zika virus in southeast Texas

From the Texas Department of State Health Services:

Texas has reported two confirmed travel-related cases of Zika virus disease in the state, both in the southeast Texas area. The travelers were infected abroad and diagnosed after they returned home. There has been no reported local transmission of the disease in the continental United States.

Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause fever, rash, muscle and joint aches and pinkeye. Symptoms are usually mild, and most people exposed to Zika virus won’t develop any symptoms at all. There have been reports of microcephaly and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of mothers who were infected with Zika virus while pregnant.

The Texas Department of State Health Services is encouraging people to follow travel precautions for regions and certain countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.

DSHS recommends travelers avoid mosquito bites while abroad and for seven days after returning, in case they have been exposed to Zika virus. People can protect themselves from mosquito bites by:

Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants
Using EPA-registered insect repellents
Using permethrin-treated clothing and gear 

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More information on the Zika virus from the Texas Department of State Health Services:

Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. Approximately 80% of people infected with the virus do not become ill. For those who do develop symptoms, illness is generally mild and typically lasts a few days to a week. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes).

Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon and fatalities are rare.  An increase in Guillain-Barré syndrome was noted during an outbreak of Zika virus in French Polynesia in 2014.  An increase in microcephaly was noted during an outbreak of Zika virus in Brazil in 2015. Whether Zika virus infection causes these conditions has not yet been established.

Laboratory testing for Zika virus infection is available at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Healthcare providers should contact their state or local health department to facilitate laboratory testing in symptomatic patients. See a comprehensive listing of contact information by county for local and regional health departments in Texas.  

As for many other arboviral diseases, there are currently no vaccines or drugs to prevent or treat Zika virus infection. To help prevent infection, DSHS recommends that:

It is not yet known if people with Zika who do not have symptoms can transmit the virus to Texas mosquitoes. Therefore, DSHSrecommends that all travelers returning to Texas from areas affected by Zika avoid mosquito bites for one week following return or following onset of illness.

Zika Virus
General information provided by the CDC about Zika virus

Zika & Travel
Information provided by the CDC about Zika virus for travelers and travel health providers

Zika & Pregnant Women
Information provided by the CDC about potential risks associated with Zika virus infection during pregnancy

Zika & Infants
Information provided by the CDC about Zika virus for pediatric healthcare providers

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