DCHHS Reports third Zika Virus Case in Dallas County

DCHHS Reports third Zika Virus Case in Dallas County

Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) laboratory today confirmed a positive test result for Zika virus. DCHHS performed the preliminary test and will refer the specimen for additional testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The 45-year-old non-pregnant patient is a resident in the City of Dallas who traveled to Honduras. Upon returning to Dallas County, the patient was diagnosed with possible compatible symptoms that have resolved. 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.

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.

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