Thursday, April 25, 2024

Garland reports first Zika travel related case

Photo by: James Gathany
Photo by: James Gathany

On Aug. 19, 2016 the Garland Health Department (GHD) received confirmation of an active case of Zika virus in Garland in the 1900 block of Palo Duro Drive (near the intersection of Castle Drive and Centerville Road).  The individual was infected with the virus during recent travel to Central America.  The Zika virus is transmitted from person to person by mosquitoes and the infected individual returned to Garland during the disease phase when they were capable of transmitting Zika via mosquitoes.  Transmission via mosquito was possible as early as Aug. 17.

Common symptoms of Zika virus are fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis (red eyes).  Illness can last several days to a week and severe cases may require hospitalization.  Only one in five individuals experience symptoms.  More importantly, Zika virus has been associated with birth defects including microcephaly and fetal losses.
Zika is an emerging virus spread from person to person by Aedes mosquitoes.  These mosquitoes are aggressive daytime biters that typically lay eggs in artificial containers (buckets, bowls, animal dishes, vases, flower pots, etc.).  Since there is no vaccine or cure for Zika, prevention is paramount.  Protect yourself, your family and your neighbors by practicing the 4 Ds that prevent mosquito-borne diseases (including Zika, West Nile Virus, Chikungunya, and Dengue)
DEET all day, every day. Use insect repellants that contain DEET.  Always follow label instructions.
Dress to prevent mosquito bites. Wear light colored long sleeves and pants whenever outside.
Drain and remove all standing water near your home, especially artificial containers.  Report any standing water that you cannot drain to the GHD at 972-205-3720, via email or via the eAssist app.
Dusk & Dawn are the times of day that mosquitoes are most active.  Limit outdoor activity during these times.

GHD will monitor the area near the infected individual’s home to assess mosquito activity and will take appropriate measures to protect public health.  For additional information on Zika virus, or other mosquito-borne diseases visit the GHD webpage.


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