Ten pregnant women in Dallas County have preliminary tested positive for the Zika virus, the county health director said during a meeting Tuesday with the commissioner's court.
Dallas County Health and Human Services Directory Zachary Thompson said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends waiting until the women give birth to confirm the diagnosis by testing both the mother and her child.
Thompson told the Dallas County Commissioner's Court Tuesday morning that the women all contracted the virus while traveling internationally and that none of the infections were spread locally.
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To date, no Zika-infected mosquitoes have been found in Dallas County.
Mosquitoes in North Texas could become carriers if they bite a Zika infected person.
Dr. Seema Yasmin, public health reporter for The Dallas Morning News, tweeted the risk of local outbreaks could increase as the number of people with the infection rises and as conditions improve for mosquitoes to breed.
A total of nine human cases of Zika had been previously confirmed in Dallas County this year. Those nine people either visited foreign countries or had sexual contact with a person who traveled out of the United States. The nine patients have fully recovered from the virus, Thompson said.
To avoid mosquito bites, officials urge everyone to use bug spray around the clock this mosquito season and get rid of standing water where mosquitoes may breed.
- Dress in long sleeves, pants when outside: For extra protection, spray thin clothing with repellent.
- DEET: Make sure this ingredient is in your insect repellent.
- Drain standing water in your yard and neighborhood: Mosquitoes can develop in any water stagnant for more than three days.
It has been recommended in the past that to avoid mosquito bites you should avoid being outdoors during Dusk and Dawn (the 4 Ds). While this is true for mosquitoes that commonly carry the West Nile virus, other types of mosquitoes that are more likely to carry Zika, dengue and chikungunya are active during the day. When outdoors, no matter what time of day, adjust your dress accordingly and wear insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus as your first line of defense against insect bites.