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Fight the Bite, County Urges

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Increasing rainfall and increasing temperatures mean increasing numbers of mosquitoes.

Comal County Office of Public Health urges residents to “fight the bite” this spring and help prevent the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses.

Cheryl Fraser, Comal County director of public health, says residents can combat the spread of Zika, West Nile and other mosquito-borne viruses by

  • Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants;
  • Using EPA-registered insect repellents;
  • Using permethrin-treated clothing;
  • Eliminating standing water on property and cleaning rain gutters;
  • Staying and sleeping in screened-in or air-conditioned rooms; and
  • Avoiding or limiting outdoor activities during peak mosquito times.

“Especially with the heavy rain we had last week, there’s still a lot of standing water throughout the county,” Fraser says. “Mosquitoes can breed in just a capful of water, so we encourage all residents to make sure they dump out any standing water on their property.”

Although Zika virus is active in Texas mosquitoes, no cases have yet been reported in Comal County since it arrived in the state in 2016.

Nevertheless, Fraser says residents should continue to be alert for symptoms and take precautions, especially if pregnant or planning to become pregnant.

First Reports in Williamson County

Texas Department of Health and Human Services (DSHS) says it has received reports of the first Texas Zika cases of 2018.

Two travel-related cases were reported in residents of Williamson County who got sick while abroad.

Residents should take particular caution when traveling to warmer climates where Zika is more prevalent, like Central and South America and the Caribbean, the agency warns.

DSHS provides updates every Tuesday on the number of Zika virus disease cases in Texas by the patient’s county of residence. As of the week ending Mar. 30, two Zika cases have been reported for 2018. There have been 54 cases reported for 2017, though that number could still change. Full data for previous years is available at TexasZika.org.

More information about fighting Zika and other mosquito-borne illnesses in Comal County can be found at the joint Comal County/City of New Braunfels Zika webpage, comalzika.org.

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