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No Zika in Comal County – yet

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No cases of Zika have been reported in Comal County, according to Comal County Office of Public Health.

However, six cases have been reported in nearby Bexar County, according to texaszika.org.

Comal residents should continue to take steps to combat mosquito breeding around their homes by draining standing water and making sure doors and windows are adequately screened. They also should wear long sleeves and use insect repellent, according to a press release issued by the county.

As area residents travel for the summer, the public health office, City of New Braunfels and Texas Department of State Health Services remind residents who plan to visit countries in Central and South America or the Caribbean to take precautions that minimize their risk of contracting Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases.

Angela Lopez, emergency preparedness coordinator for the Public Health Office, suggests:

  • Always wear DEET-based mosquito repellent and long sleeves. Permethrin-treated clothing is also recommended.
  • If pregnant, avoid travel unless absolutely necessary. If travel is necessary, coordinate with your obstetrician before you leave and follow up when you return.
  • Because Zika is sexually transmitted, couples should take steps to prevent pregnancy for eight weeks after a partner returns. Additional information on couples seeking to prevent the sexual transmission of Zika can visit texaszika.org/prevention.htm.

“We encourage Comal County residents to continue to exercise caution and keep themselves from being bitten by mosquitoes,” Lopez said. “Especially if you’re pregnant or anticipate becoming pregnant, arm yourself with information and take steps to protect you and your baby.”

Zika virus is primarily spread to people through mosquito bites. The virus can be spread from mother to child. Spread of the virus through blood transfusion and sexual contact has also been reported.

Most people infected with the virus have mild or no symptoms. For those who do develop symptoms, illness is generally mild and typically lasts a few days to a week. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes).

Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon and fatalities are rare. An increase in Guillain-Barré syndrome was noted during an outbreak of Zika virus in French Polynesia in 2014. An increase in microcephaly was noted during an outbreak of Zika virus in Brazil in 2015.

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