Sixth case of Zika Virus Disease Confirmed in Denton County
September 9, 2016 – Denton County Public Health (DCPH) today has confirmed the sixth travel-associated case of Zika virus. The individual is a resident of Little Elm and traveled to Jamaica, a country with active transmission. As a reminder, there is no current local transmission.
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.
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. “Residents should continue to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites when at home or traveling abroad to affected countries. Whether to protect against West Nile Virus locally or to prevent Zika exposure internationally, bite prevention is key. We also want to emphasize precautions for pregnant women or women planning to become pregnant to delay travel to affected countries with active Zika transmission” says Dr. Matt Richardson, Director of Public Health.
In light of this travel-associated case, however, the Town of Little Elm is planning on residential structure spraying between September 10th, 2016 and September 11th, 2016 to reduce the potential Aedes mosquito populations that could have bitten the infected traveler. This spraying was recommended by Denton County Public Health in conjunction with response recommendations published by the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control.
While there is no current known local transmission in this case, all residents should take the proper precautions to reduce their risk of getting Zika virus while traveling, and to observe the same precautions while 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,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.