CDC confirms Zika virus in Harris County

-  A new virus has made its way to Harris County. The Centers for Disease Control confirmed Monday, a woman brought what's known as the “Zika Virus”  to Texas after traveling from Latin America.

Zika Virus is spread through the bite of a mosquito. Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services (HCPHES) said there is no local transmission of the virus, but there are precautions that need to be taken when traveling.

"The traveler who had symptoms, rightfully went to their healthcare provider and the healthcare provider said, 'jeez let me check for a number of different diseases'," said Dr. Umair Shah, the Executive Director of HCPHES. "One of them was Zika Virus."

Experts here in Harris COunty said hey are not worried about local transmission at this time because the woman carrying the virus was bitten in Latin America. They said the virus can only be transmitted through mosquitos, which they are currently monitoring in our area.

"We’re monitoring,"  Shah. "We’re always going out to the field, we’re trapping, we’re collecting, and we’re checking. We’re isolating the virus...so there shouldn’t be any alarm right now."

According to the Center for Disease Control the symptoms of Zika virus are usually mild, lasting several days to a week

"Individuals who have come down with Zika will have fever, will have rash, will have joint pain, you can also get conjunctivitis, which is redness of the eyes.  Very rare circumstances you can have death that comes of that."

As for prevention doctors recommend if you are traveling to an area that has traces of the Zika Virus such as Latin America, Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia-- to use mosquito repellant and protection. There is no vaccine for the virus.

"What you want to do is prevent mosquitos from biting you everything you can do to prevent mosquitos from biting you is what the key prevention method is."

The CDC recommends that all people.,especially pregnant women, take precautions because the Zika virus can be transmitted to your baby. The virus has been linked to microcephaly, a condition where a child is born with a smaller than normal size head.

For more information on Zika go to http://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html

 

 

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