As if we didn’t have enough worries with West Nile Virus, now we being warned about Zika.

Zika is a disease spread by mosquito bites, but is not transmitted human to human. It first appeared along the equator from Africa to Asia but has gradually spread to other regions of the world such as South America.

So how and why is this an issue for Texoma? While there have been no documented cases in the United States, it has been found in Puerto Rico and other American territories. The CDC has issued a travel warning over the virus and The Wichita Falls / Wichita County Health District offers the following:
The virus is only transmitted by aggressive daytime biting mosquitoes. It is not transmitted person to person. The Health District reminds everyone that while there has not been any transmission of Zika virus in the continental U.S., everyone is encouraged to take the necessary precautions to reduce the risk of mosquito bites:

  • Use insect repellents containing at least 45% DEET. Please follow instructions on product label.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants or DEET treated clothing.
  • Drain standing water in your backyard and neighborhood- old tires, flowerpots and clogged rain gutters are just a few sites mosquitoes like to breed in.
  • The CDC also recommends that pregnant women consider postponing travel to any area where transmission of Zika virus is occurring. Pregnant women who do travel to one of these areas should talk to their doctors or other healthcare providers first and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip.

If you have specific questions about Zika virus please call 940.761.7803. You can also visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/

Sources: Wichita Falls Public Information Office, CDC, The Atlantic, Wikipedia