Lago Vista residents are being urged to take precautions against West Nile and the Zika Virus. The Zika virus is a newly emerging mosquito-borne virus in the Americas. The mosquito that carries Zika is endemic to Central Texas. At least two cases of the Zika virus have been confirmed in Travis County and at least one in Williamson County.
The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is typically mild and lasts one week. In Brazil, Zika virus infections in pregnant women may be associated with birth defects (microcephaly) and fetal loss. Zika virus is transmitted to persons primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito, although sexual transmission and transmission by contaminated blood products have been reported by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Currently, there is no vaccine for the Zika virus. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, your best protection to avoid infection is to prevent mosquito breeding and protect yourself from mosquito bites.
Prevent Mosquito Breeding:
Protect Yourself from Mosquito Bites
People who are traveling to areas where Zika is being spread should protect themselves from mosquito bites while abroad and for 21 days after returning home to help prevent infection and to keep from spreading the virus to mosquitoes in Texas in case the travelers were exposed to Zika.
The first case of West Nile has also been confirmed in Texas for 2016. According to TDSHS, in 2015, West Nile caused 275 reported cases of illness in the state, including 16 deaths. The same precautions taken against Zika should also be used against West Nile.
For more information on the Zika virus, vista www.TexasZika.org.
You can also view this presentation by Lago Vista Police Department's Capt. Reyes.