Zika Virus confirmed in Gray County

Zika Virus confirmed in Gray County

GRAY COUNTY, TX (KFDA) - Gray County is now one of the many areas in Texas with a confirmed case of Zika. The Panhandle's very first case was announced Thursday by The Texas Department of State Health Services.

State health officials would not disclose many details about this new Zika case in the Panhandle, but says the person infected traveled abroad to an area where Zika is spreading.

This new case marks 69 reports of Zika in Texas -- Among the cases reported in the state three are pregnant women, one is an infant who was infected before birth, and one is someone who had sexual contact with a traveler.

With more cases being reported almost weekly, local health officials say now is a good time for an important reminder.

"Prevention is the key when we're talking about mosquito borne illnesses," said Amarillo's Director of Public Health, Casie Stoughton.

Stoughton says it's all about the four D's.

"Wearing deet, dressing in long sleeves and pants, drain standing water, and daily -- all day, every day. The four D's are so important," said Stoughton.

Here in the Panhandle, we are more at risk to contract West Nile -- regardless of the disease, the most important thing is to try and avoid mosquito bites. Stoughton says they've been able to educate the public on prevention through their newly launched "Mission Mosquito" campaign.

"We've got some kits that have education in there about Zika and West Nile, a homeowners check list so that you can have those ideas where to check to tip and toss standing water, and some bug spray."

Out of the 7,500 kits the city ordered, almost half of them have already been given out to the public.

With the city's constant effort to keep Amarillo safe of potential breeding grounds, and the public doing their part to protect themselves -- Amarillo can prevent a potential a Zika or West Nile problem.

You can find more information about avoiding Zika and West Nile through the city's Mission Mosquito campaign.

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