Zika Virus

Style Magazine Newswire | 6/16/2016, 8:15 a.m.
The Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The current case ...
Zika Virus

The Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The current case count in Houston is six, with each case involving persons infected during previous travel to Central America. There is not a single known case of Zika transmission wholly within the United States. All active U.S. cases were transmitted during visits to other countries where the virus is more prevalent.

Houstonians should take the following steps to prevent mosquito bites:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
  • Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitos outside
  • Take steps to control mosquitos inside and outside your home
  • Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are overseas or outside and are not able to protect yourself from mosquito bites
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)- registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane- diol. Choosing an EPA-registered repellent ensures the EPA has evaluated the product for effectiveness. When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breast-feeding women.
  • Always follow the product label instructions
  • Reapply insect repellent as directed
  • Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing
  • If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen before applying insect repellent
  • To protect your child from mosquito bites:
  • Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months
  • Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol on children younger than 3 years old
  • Dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs
  • Cover crib, stroller, and baby carrier with mosquito netting
  • Do not apply insect repellent onto a child's hands, eyes, mouth and cut or irritated skin
  • Adults: Spray insect repellent onto your hands and then apply to child's face
  • Treat clothing and gear with permethrin or purchase permethrin-treated items
  • Treated clothing remains protective after multiple washings
  • If treating items yourself, follow the product instructions carefully
  • Do NOT use permethrin products directly on skin. They are intended to treat clothes

Symptoms: fever, rash, joint pain, headache, and conjunctivitis (red eyes)

Transmission:

  • Primarily through infected Aedes mosquitos. They are aggressive daytime biters and live indoors and outdoors, usually near people.
  • It is possible that Zika virus could be passed from mother to fetus during pregnancy.
  • Recent cases have been found that the virus can be transmitted sexually, although this appears to be uncommon.

Diagnosis: Your physician may request a laboratory test through the City of Houston public health laboratory; there are no rapid tests for the virus available.

Treatment:

  • Zika virus is usually mild.
  • There is no specific treatment for Zika.
  • Persons who believe they are ill with Zika should seek medical attention. People sick with Zika virus should get plenty of rest and drink enough fluids.
  • Prevent mosquito bites for 3 weeks to prevent spreading the virus.