The Zika virus is spreading in Texas. The Texas Department of State Health says there are now 18 confirmed cases of Zika disease state wide. Seventeen of those cases are travel related and one was contracted through sexual contact.

The Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District says that while there are no known cases in our county, you still should take precautions to protect yourself from mosquito bites, the most common method of transmission.

Health District officials are engaging in a pest management program for mosquito control. Mosquitos are being tested for Zika and other viruses, treatment of standing water and spraying.

There are precautions you can take to minimize your risk of exposure to mosquito borne diseases:

  • Cover trash containers.
  • Change water in pet dishes daily.
  • Maintain backyard pools or hot tubs.
  • Keep gutters clear of debris and standing water.
  • Screen rain barrels and openings to water tanks or cisterns.
  • Remove standing water around buildings and from flat roofs.
  • Change water in wading pools and bird baths several times a week.
  • Water lawns and gardens carefully so water does not stand for several days.
  • Once a week empty or discard cans, buckets, old tires, pots, and other things that can hold water.
  • We can all protect ourselves and family when spending time outdoors by
  • Wear insect repellent that contains DEET;
  • Covering up with long-sleeved shirts and long pants;
  • Limit outdoor activities during peak mosquito times, especially before dusk and dawn; and
  • Keep mosquitoes out with air conditioning or intact window screens.

 

If you have questions about Zika virus please call 940-761-7803. You can also visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: cdc.gov/zika/ or the Texas Department of State Health Services web page: texaszika.org

For questions about the Health District’s mosquito abatement program call 940-761-6808 or 940-761-7822.