Today Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services (HCPHES) officially confirmed three (3) additional people have tested positive for Zika virus. All individuals had recently traveled to Latin America.
There are a total of 4 confirmed human cases in Harris County, excluding the city of Houston. The individuals developed symptoms that are often associated with the Zika virus which include: fever, rash, joint pain. All individuals have since recovered.
“We anticipate additional travel-related Zika cases and we expect the numbers to increase as people continue to travel”, stated Dr. Umair A. Shah, Executive Director of HCPHES. “We recommend that if individuals are traveling to countries where Zika virus has been identified to take preventive measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites and to contact their healthcare provider if they develop symptoms associated with the virus.”
When traveling abroad, protective measures to prevent mosquito bites and reduce the risk of infection include: choosing a hotel/lodging with air conditioning or screens on windows and doors; wearing an EPA approved insect repellent; and wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants. If traveling with a baby or child, make sure to follow label instructions when applying repellent to children. Use mosquito netting over cribs, strollers and baby carriers.