Zika Virus Update

AUSTIN June 7, 2018 ⎯ DSHS has received reports of the first Texas Zika cases of 2018, two travel-related cases in residents of Williamson County who got sick while abroad. People should remember to protect themselves from mosquito bites this spring as they travel, particularly to warmer climates where Zika is more prevalent, like Central and South America and the Caribbean.

DSHS provides updates every Tuesday on the number of Zika virus disease cases in Texas by the patient’s county of residence. As of the week ending June 1, three Zika cases have been reported for 2018. There have been 55 cases reported for 2017, though that number could still change.

2018 Zika cases by county

Collin - 1  
Williamson - 2

All 2018 cases are associated with travel.

Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause fever, rash, muscle and joint aches and red eyes (conjunctivitis). Symptoms are usually mild, and most people exposed to Zika virus won’t develop any symptoms at all. Zika has also been linked to a birth defect called microcephaly and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of mothers who were infected with the virus while pregnant.

Because the virus spreads from place to place through human travel, DSHS encourages people to follow travel precautions for countries and regions where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. That generally includes Latin America, the Caribbean and some Pacific islands. DSHS recommends travelers avoid mosquito bites while abroad and for 21 days after returning, in case they have been exposed to the virus. 

People everywhere can protect themselves from mosquito bites and the threat of Zika by taking a few simple steps:

  • Apply EPA-registered insect repellents.
  • Wear pants and long-sleeved shirts that cover exposed skin.
  • Use screens or close windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of your home. 
  • Remove standing water in and around your home.
  • Cover trash cans or containers where water can collect.
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