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The original item was published from 8/16/2016 4:55:17 PM to 12/1/2016 12:10:01 AM.

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Posted on: August 16, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Zika Virus Update August 2016

From Ellis County Health Authority Leah Nordstrom:

Public health officials and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) expect that Zika infections in the United States will continue to be sporadic rather than widespread. Zika is primarily spread by mosquitoes, so control of the mosquito population is important in containing the virus. Zika can also be transmitted sexually and it may also be transmitted from mother to baby during gestation. Prevention is key in combatting the virus.

Most people who contract Zika will not have symptoms. Of those who get symptoms, it is usually a milder flu like illness lasting around 1-2 weeks. There is no prescription medicine available to treat Zika; supportive care is the recommended primary treatment for those affected. Rarely a neurological disorder called Guillain Barre has been reported, but by far, the most worrisome outcomes of those infected are the fetuses of pregnant women. There are a variety of birth defects that have been noted, most commonly microcephaly. Once infected, a person should be immune from future infections.

Testing is available for the Zika virus through the local state health departments. Most clinics and doctors should determine which cases need to be submitted to the state health department for testing and verification. Those with mild symptoms probably will not be required to be tested, however it is recommended if an individual is very ill, or if the patient is pregnant, or planning to become pregnant.

Local and state officials for public health are coordinating with the CDC preparing for more cases of the Zika virus.

From Ellis County Office of Emergency Management:

Only 1 case of Zika has been reported in Ellis County to date. This case was contracted while the person was traveling, and there have been no reported cases of Zika infected mosquitos in Ellis County.

To help prevent Zika and other mosquito transmitted viruses, Emergency Management recommends:
• Wearing EPA registered insect repellents with DEET
• Cover up with long-sleeved shirts and long pants
• Dump standing water in and around your home
• Limit outdoor activities during dawn and dusk

More information can be found at -, or call Ellis County Emergency Management at 972-825-5199.

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