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Published on Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Metro Health Reports Twentieth Zika Case

SAN ANTONIO (Dec. 14, 2016) – The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District reports one new confirmed Zika case. The total count of confirmed Zika cases in San Antonio is twenty. All cases acquired the infection while traveling abroad. 

In accordance with CDC guidelines, gender or pregnancy status will not be released along with case information in order to protect the privacy of these individuals. 

Despite cooling temperatures, mosquitoes can breed year-round in San Antonio. Metro Health asks for the community’s assistance in preventing mosquitoes in the area, including:

Remove standing water both inside and outside your home

Keep mosquitoes from laying eggs inside and outside of your home. Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out containers that hold water, such as

  • Vases

  • Pet water bowls

  • Flowerpot saucers

  • Discarded tires

  • Buckets

  • Pool covers

  • Birdbaths

  • Trash cans

  • Rain barrels

These actions can help reduce the number of mosquitoes around areas where people live.

The Zika virus is part of the same family as the viruses that cause yellow fever, West Nile, Chikungunya and dengue. Zika is primarily transmitted through the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes. It can also be transmitted from a pregnant mother to her baby during pregnancy or around the time of birth. It can also be transmitted through sexual activity. It is likely to be transferred through blood transfusion, but it has not been confirmed by the CDC.

If you traveled to a Zika-affected area, upon return please take extra precautions to avoid mosquito bites for two weeks.

For people who get sick, the illness is usually mild. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected. Common symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Symptoms typically begin 2 to 7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

Due to a link between infection during pregnancy and microcephaly in the infant, pregnant women are strongly advised to delay travel to Zika-affected areas. If travel is unavoidable they should take extra precautions to prevent mosquito bites. See your healthcare provider if you are pregnant and have traveled to a Zika-affected area within the last 12 weeks.

With no treatment or vaccine available, the only protection against Zika is to avoid travel to Zika-affected areas. If you do travel to a country where Zika is present, the CDC advises strict adherence to mosquito protection measures:

  • Use air conditioning or window/door screens
  • Use mosquito repellant on skin and clothing, even during the day
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
  • Empty standing water from outdoor containers (even small containers)

See your healthcare provider if you develop a fever, rash, joint pain, or red eyes within two weeks after traveling. Be sure to tell your health care provider where you traveled. 

Additionally, pregnant women and women who are considering becoming pregnant who have a sex partner living in or traveling to Zika-affected areas should:

  • abstain from sex (vaginal, anal, or oral)
  • or use condoms correctly and consistently for the duration of the pregnancy

Men and women who traveled to a Zika-affected area also should:

  • abstain from sex
  • or use condoms correctly and consistently for eight weeks, if the person experienced no symptoms and six months if the person exhibited symptoms.

Categories: Health

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