DSHS reports first 2018 Zika cases in Williamson County

Texas Department of State Health Services released a report its first two travel related Zika cases in Williamson County this Spring.

DSHS said it serves as a reminder for people to be cautious as they travel this summer.

Austin Public Health got a jump start on mosquito prevention with a tire drive Sunday afternoon. Dozens of people dropped of extra and abandon tires that tend to lay idle and collect water.

Ashley Hawes, APH Research Analyst said when the department surveys communities who attract mosquitoes they realized many had standing water collected by tires, bird baths, and rain gutters.

"If we can educate people of simple ways they can get rid of water in their area they can help reduce mosquitos and hopefully reduce the amount of people who get sick from diseases like West Nile and Zika,” Hawes said.

People who get infected with a mosquito borne virus across overseas can also transfer the virus to mosquitoes in the U.S. 

Hawes said people can also can actively prevent by wearing long sleeves, avoid being outside during dusk and dawn in the summer months and wearing EPA recommended insect repellent.

Austin Public Health collects mosquitoes in May from surrounding communities to test if any are positive with diseases. They then alert residents in that zip code.

Mosquitoes typically stay only a quarter of a mile of where they hatch.

Hawes said one spoon full of water can attract about 10,000 mosquitoes.

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