Zika

Zika in Texas

Zika virus is primarily spread to people through mosquito bites. The virus can be spread from mother to child. Spread of the virus through blood transfusion and sexual contact has also been reported. Most people infected with the virus have mild or no symptoms. For those who do develop symptoms, illness is generally mild and typically lasts a few days to a week. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon and fatalities are rare. An increase in Guillain-Barré syndrome was noted during an outbreak of Zika virus in French Polynesia in 2014. An increase in microcephaly was noted during an outbreak of Zika virus in Brazil in 2015.

Transmissions and Risks

Throug Mosquito Bites

Zika virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus). These are the same mosquitoes that spread dengue and chikungunya.
  • These mosquitoes typically lay eggs in and near standing water in things like buckets, bowls, animal dishes, flower pots and vases. They prefer to bite people, and live indoors and outdoors near people.
    • Mosquitoes that spread chikungunya, dengue, and Zika are aggressive daytime biters, but they can also bite at night.
  • Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on a person already infected with the virus. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other people through bites.
 

From Mother to Child

    • A pregnant woman can pass Zika virus to her fetus during pregnancy. Zika is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects. We are studying the full range of other potential health problems that Zika virus infection during pregnancy may cause.
      • A pregnant woman already infected with Zika virus can pass the virus to her fetus during the pregnancy or around the time of birth.
    • To date, there are no reports of infants getting Zika virus through breastfeeding. Because of the benefits of breastfeeding, mothers are encouraged to breastfeed even in areas where Zika virus is found.

Through Sexual Contact

      • Zika virus can be spread by a man to his sex partners.
      • In known cases of sexual transmission, the men developed Zika virus symptoms. From these cases, we know the virus can be spread when the man has symptoms, before symptoms start and after symptoms resolve.
      • In one case, the virus was spread a few days before symptoms developed.
      • The virus is present in semen longer than in blood.
 

Traveling To Areas with Zika

    • Most Texas cases of Zika are related to travel. People were infected while visiting areas where Zika is being spread and then diagnosed after returning home.<br. To help prevent infection, DSHS recommends: During Your TripTravelers to areas affected by Zika should avoid mosquito exposure.
      • Use EPA-approved insect repellent for 21 days after you return to the United States. When used as directed, these insect repellents - including those that contain DEET - are proven safe and effective even for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
      • Wear pants and long-sleeve shirts.
      • Use screens or close windows and doors at hotel rooms or places you're staying.
      • Take precautions against sexual transmission.
      • Consider abstaining from sex or use condoms correctly.
      ZIKA Active transmission Map in America After Your Trip All travelers returning to Texas from areas affected by Zika should avoid mosquito bites for 21 days following their return or following the onset of illness.
      • Call your doctor if you have concerns.
      • Use EPA-approved insect repellent for 21 days after you return to the United States. When used as directed, these insect repellents - including those that contain DEET - are proven safe and effective even for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
      • Take precautions against sexual transmission for at least eight weeks.
      • Consider abstaining from sex or use condoms correctly.
       

      Zika Response Plan

      As a part of the prevention and mitigation efforts, the Texas Department of State Health Services has produced the Zika Virus Preparedness and Response Plan. The Zika Virus Preparedness and Response Plan describes what actions DSHS will take to successfully respond to Zika virus. The Zika Virus Preparedness and Response Plan is aligned with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) phased approach. Furthermore, the Cameron County Department of Health and Human Services Hospital Preparedness Program Trauma Service Area V (CCDHS HPP TSA-V) and all members of the Rio Grande Valley Healthcare Preparedness Coalition (RGV-HPC) will adhere to all protocols and procedures outlined in the Zika Virus Preparedness and Response Plan.

      Resources

      The following table describes some of the resources available to healthcare providers and the general public can obtain more information regarding the Zika Virus:
      Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: About The Zika Virus
  Tools For Healthcare Providers   Official Center for Disease Control Zika Communication Resources   Texas Department of State Health Services: About The Zika Virus Centers for Disease Control Official Mosquito Control Guide Zika Travel Health Notices  

Contact Us

seals Cameron County Department of Health & Human Services 1390 W. Expressway 83 San Benito, TX 78586 Office   956-247-3685 Fax      1-866-326-3397