DCHHS reports sixth Zika Virus Case in Dallas County
Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) is reporting the sixth confirmed case of Zika virus in Dallas County in 2016. The 41-year-old patient is a resident of Irving who was infected with the virus during recent travel to Jamaica. For medical confidentiality and personal privacy reasons, DCHHS does not provide additional identifying information.
While sexual transmission of Zika virus is possible, it is primarily transmitted to people by Aedes species mosquitoes. The most common symptoms of Zika virus are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting several days to a week.
DCHHS advises individuals with symptoms to see a healthcare provider if they visited an area where Zika virus is present or had sexual contact with a person who traveled to an area where Zika virus is present. There is no specific medication available to treat Zika virus and there is not a vaccine. The best way to avoid Zika virus is to avoid mosquito bites and sexual contact with a person who has Zika virus.
DCHHS recommends everyone use the 4Ds to reduce the chance of being bitten by a mosquito.
- DEET All Day, Every Day: Whenever you’re outside, use insect repellents that contain DEET or other EPA approved repellents and follow label instructions.
- DRESS: Wear long, loose, and light-colored clothing outside.
- DRAIN: Remove all standing water in and around your home.
- DUSK & DAWN: Limit outdoor activities during dusk and dawn hours when mosquitoes are most active.
While all 4Ds are important, draining or treating standing water is crucial to stop the breeding of mosquitoes. Standing water can be treated with EPA-approved larvicides that are available for retail purchase. Larvicides are products used to kill immature mosquitoes before they become adults. Larvicides are applied directly to water sources that hold mosquito eggs, larvae, or pupae. When used well, larvicides can help reduce the overall mosquito burden by limiting the number of mosquitoes that are produced, according to CDC.
Travelers can protect themselves further by doing the following:
- Choose a hotel or lodging with air conditioning or screens on windows or doors.
- Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are outside or in a room that is not well-screened.
Sexual partners can protect each other by abstaining from sex or by using condoms consistently and correctly during sex.
Pregnant women and women trying to get pregnant can protect themselves further by taking the following precautions:
- Pregnant women in any trimester should consider postponing travel to areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.
- Pregnant women who do travel to an area with active Zika virus transmission should talk to their doctor or other healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip.
- Pregnant women should discuss their male partner’s potential exposures to mosquitoes and history of Zika-like illness.
Women trying to become pregnant or who are thinking about becoming pregnant should consult with their healthcare provider before traveling to areas with active Zika virus transmission, and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip.
To see countries and territories with active Zika virus transmission, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/.
There are currently no reports of Zika virus being locally-transmitted by mosquitoes in Dallas County. However, imported cases make local spread by mosquitoes possible because the mosquitoes that can transmit the virus are found locally. DCHHS advises recent travelers with Zika virus symptoms as well as individuals diagnosed with the virus to protect themselves from further mosquito bites.
For more information on Zika virus, go to the DCHHS website.
For additional information contact:
Erikka D. Neroes, Public Information Officer
214.819.6329 (office) 214.394.8109 (cell)
Zachary Thompson, Director