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Denton County confirms first case of Zika virus

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Mosquito graphicThe Denton County Public Health Department (DCPH) today confirmed the first travel-associated case of Zika virus in a Denton County resident.

The case involves a female who had traveled internationally in late January to a country where the virus was active, officials said.

 Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito, a known aggressive daytime biter.  Sexual transmission has 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.

DCPH is recommending travel precautions to countries and territories with active Zika virus transmission. To prevent the spread of disease, people traveling to those areas currently affected should carefully follow steps to avoid mosquito bites while there.

“We want Denton County residents to take precautions when traveling abroad to avoid mosquito bites, and for pregnant women or women planning to become pregnant to delay their travel to countries with current Zika transmission,” said Dr. Matt Richardson, Public Health Director.

Residents should take the proper precautions to reduce their risk of getting Zika virus:

  • 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,N-diethyl-m-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.

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