FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Senior Public Information Officer
Tarrant County Public Health
Health Department launches Zika Home Care Kit
March 9, 2016 (Tarrant County, TX) – Tarrant County Public Health (TCPH) has identified two new imported cases of Zika virus in the county, bringing the total number of positive cases to three. No local transmission reported, surveillance continues.
The first patient traveled to Puerto Rico. The second patient traveled to El Salvador. Both counties have known local transmission of the disease. No other health information will be released at this time to protect the identity of the patients.
In these two cases, TCPH’s North Texas Regional Laboratory did not perform the tests. The samples were collected and sent to public health labs outside the region before the Tarrant County and Dallas County labs were validated to test for the virus.
TCPH has designed and launched a Zika Home Care Kit for distribution to Tarrant County residents being evaluated for Zika. The kit includes mosquito repellant, mosquito dunks, educational materials and other items.
“This is a good reminder to Texans that Zika virus is slowly arriving. It is already changing many of our daily routines, like wearing mosquito repellant when outside whether it’s day or night,” said TCPH Health Director Vinny Taneja. “We are providing these kits as an education tool to remind residents what they can do to protect themselves and their families from mosquito-borne illnesses.
Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito, a known aggressive daytime biter. Sexual transmission has been reported in a small number of cases. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is typically mild with symptoms lasting no more than seven days.
“Our healthcare providers are on alert for Zika virus, and paying close attention to patients with recent travel to countries with local transmission of the disease,” said Taneja.
Residents are encouraged to maintain their properties to reduce mosquito breeding sites. They should:
County residents can also call the health department’s Zika Hotline (817-248-6299), if they have questions about this disease. For more information on Zika virus and for other useful tips, visit our Zika Virus webpage.
TCPH has produced a video to help residents Eliminate Mosquito Breeding Sites.
County Telephone Operator 817-884-1111
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