New Zika Map from CDC includes Wichita, Comanche Counties
The Centers for Disease Control has released a new county map of the United States indicating where individuals may live who potentially can or will travel to areas where the Zika virus is most prevalent.
The CDC is advising everyone planning to travel abroad, especially pregnant women, to check if Zika is spreading in your planned destination. Zika virus is currently being spread in Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, the Pacific Islands, and parts of Africa.
A close look at the map (shown above) appears to show both Wichita County in North Texas and Comanche County in Sothern Oklahoma as counties as having residents who have recently immigrated to the area and may travel to a Zika affected area of the world.
While the information from the CDC does not indicate specifically why, we can presume the reason Wichita and Comanche county are included is due to the fact that both are home to major military installations and personnel have or will potentially find themselves temporarily stationed in an area where Zika is present.
Reuters reports that as of July 6 the CDC is monitoring 320 U.S. pregnant women with laboratory evidence of Zika infection, an increase of 287 women just one week earlier. if you are traveling abroad, first check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s travel page to see if Zika is spreading in your planned destination. Zika virus is currently being spread in Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, the Pacific Islands, and parts of Africa.
According to the CDC press release, pregnant women are advised to not travel to areas with Zika. If a pregnant woman must travel to an area with Zika, she should talk with her health care provider and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites. Pregnant women also should be tested upon return to the United States.
Male partners of pregnant women should consider the possibility that they could infect their partners via sex if they become infected. Men who travel to areas where Zika is spreading should take appropriate steps to prevent mosquito bites and either use condoms correctly every time they have sex during the pregnancy.
The CDC recommends that everyone take precautions to prevent mosquito bites to avoid infection with Zika virus and to prevent further spread of the virus. To prevent mosquito bites, follow these precautions for at least three weeks after you return from travel:
- Wear Environmental Protection Agency-registered insect repellent on exposed skin, at all times
- Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts
- If you can, stay in air conditioned or screened-in rooms
The symptoms of Zika include a fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. Most people infected with Zika never have any symptoms, so do not assume you are not infected if you do not feel sick. The CDC urges everyone to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites and to prevent the spread of Zika virus via sex.