Officials Carefully Monitoring the Zika Virus in Texas – MyHighPlains


AMARILLO – Texas is nearing the peak of mosquito season according to the Texas Department of State Health Services, and with the peak will come more of a risk of Zika infection.

West Nile has been in Texas for decades, now officials are worried about the possible increase of Zika because the more rain we have been having lately, leads to a higher possibility of mosquito-borne viruses.

We spoke with Dr. John Hellerstedt, a Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services about the risk.

He told us August and September tend to be the worst time for mosquitos.

With the recent rains across that state, Dr. Hellerstedt is reminding all Texans to take care of standing water and take preventative steps.

“Right now, we are at a point where we are monitoring the situation very carefully,” said Dr. Hellerstedt. “We had some cases of local mosquito vector transmitted Zika towards the end of last year. We had an additional case in July in the Rio Grande Valley where we think it may have been transmitted by local mosquitos.”

Dr. Hellerstedt reminds you to create barriers from mosquitos by wearing light-weight long sleeve shirts and pants and insect repellent.

The state health commissioner tells us Zika-carrying mosquitos are highly adaptable and can thrive in all areas, that includes indoors and outdoors.

As of the end of June, State Health Services said 210 women in Texas have been identified as having evidence of a Zika infection during pregnancy.

There are no confirmed cases in our area.

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