Texas health officials prepare for possible Zika cases this summer

After the first Zika-related death - confirmed in the United States: Texas health officials are warning everyone to take precautions this summer.  Friday, they had an informative meeting, to prepare.With the announcement, health officials are stepping up their efforts.
The 70-year-old man in Puerto Rico died from internal bleeding--- a rare reaction to the virus. So far, 31 cases were confirmed in Texas, two in Travis county.

“We have no evidence that any mosquitos in Texas are carrying Zika,” John Hellerstedy, Texas State Health Services Commissioner, said.

So far, all of the cases have been travel related, and one sexually transmitted.  If you get the virus, it's actually easy to get over. But it can be devastating to an unborn baby.

“It's actually rather mild. People get over it without the need for even going to the doctor or seeking medical care,”  Hellerstedt said.

Health officials now believe after a bite, Zika will run its course and eventually leave the body.

“Once they have recovered from it, if they get bitten by a mosquito, they are not going to pass the disease on to that mosquito,” Hellerstedt said.

The effort is on to protect the most vulnerable population to this illness--pregnant women. Texas is home to the aedes aegypti species, the kind that passes along the Zika virus.
With recent rain and more to possibly come, Mother Nature has created a breeding ground in Central Texas.

“The temperature and rainfall absolutely have an effect on the ability of that mosquito to find easy breeding habitats. It can breed in bodies of water as small as a teaspoon of water,” Hellerstedt said.

This summer officials urge everyone to look out for small pools of water and dump them out. Stay indoors or covered up as much as you can, especially if you plan on having a child soon.

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