Dallas County Confirms 2 News Zika Cases, Both from Travelers

Dallas County Health says two more cases of Zika virus have been confirmed in the county -- both imported by travelers.

Both cases were confirmed through the testing in the DCHHS lab and are being sent to the Teas Department of State Health Services for review.

The eighth case is a 15-year-old resident of Dallas who was infected with the virus during recent travel to Honduras and El Salvador. The ninth case is a 61-year-old resident of Garland who was infected during travel to Guatemala.

For medical confidentiality and personal privacy reasons, DCHHS does not provide additional identifying information.

Common symptoms of Zika virus include fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting several days to a week.

There is no medication to treat Zika virus and there is no vaccine; the best prevention is to avoid mosquitoes and sexual contact with infected people. The recommendations for avoiding the Zika virus are the same for avoiding West Nile virus.

How to Protect Yourself From Mosquito Bites
  • 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.

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