Do your part to limit exposure to mosquitoes and the diseases they carry
Our mild Central Texas winter could mean a more active mosquito season. That’s why Austin Public Health is encouraging all residents in Travis County to do their part to limit exposure to mosquitoes and the diseases they carry including Zika and West Nile viruses.
Zika primarily spreads through infected mosquitoes. These mosquitoes bite both day and night. Zika can also be passed through sex from a person who has Zika to his or her sex partner. Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause microcephaly, an abnormally small head, and other severe brain defects. Where you live, your travel history and the travel history of your sex partner can affect your chances of getting Zika.
As of April 28, 2017, 24 cases of illness due to Zika virus were reported in Travis County. All the Zika virus infections or suspected cases reported were travel related. Locally, there are no reported severe illnesses or deaths from Zika virus. Thus far, Brownsville, Texas is only the second place in the continental US to have local transmission of Zika.
Many people infected with Zika or West Nile virus won’t have symptoms or will have only mild symptoms. The most common symptoms are fever, headache and body aches. Joint pain and red eyes are also associated with Zika.
It’s important to remember that mosquitoes can only develop in water and it takes just a teaspoon of water for mosquitoes to breed.
Here are the best ways to prevent mosquito bites:
Remove standing water around your home.
Use EPA- registered insect repellent.
Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
Stay in places with air conditioning or window and door screens.