DENTON, TX – Denton County Public Health (DCPH) has confirmed its first travel-associated case of Zika virus for 2017. The individual affected is a resident of Trophy Club and travelled to Mexico, a country with active transmission. The individual is no longer contagious, and DCPH is not currently recommending ground spraying. To date, there has been no local transmission of the disease in Denton County. “This case highlights the ongoing risk of travel to countries with ongoing Zika transmission,” says Matt Richardson, Director of Public Health. “If you’re traveling this spring, make sure you continue to use mosquito repellent when outdoors. Also, with warmer weather and the arrival of spring here at home, it’s time to think about prevention for mosquitos in your own back yard.”
Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito, a known aggressive daytime biter. Sexual transmission has also been reported in a small number of cases. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is typically mild with symptoms lasting no more than seven days. DCPH advises recent travelers with Zika virus symptoms, as well as individuals diagnosed with Zika virus, to protect themselves from further mosquito bites, and also to practice safe sex. Residents traveling to areas with Zika risk should be aware of current travel recommendations, which can be found at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-information. Travelers should take steps to avoid mosquito bites while there, and continue avoiding bites after they have returned home.
All residents should take the following precautions while traveling and at home:
- Drain standing water around their homes to reduce mosquito breeding grounds. Consider use of BTI briquettes (or mosquito dunks) in water that cannot be drained, such as small ponds and drinking troughs.
- Be aware of mosquitoes during times that they are active: Dawn, Daytime, Dusk and evening hours.
- Apply an insect repellent that contains DEET (N,Ndiethylm-toluamide) to exposed skin and to clothing when outdoors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends Picaridin (KBR 3023).
- Dress in pants and long sleeves when outside and/ or wear permethrin-treated clothing.
Please visit the Denton County Public Health website www.dentoncounty.com/zika for additional information on Zika virus and prevention.