SAN ANTONIO - The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District confirmed two additional cases of Zika in Bexar County. There is now a total of three Zika cases. All three individuals acquired the infection while traveling abroad. In addition to the three confirmed cases, there are three more individuals under investigation for possible infection.
The Zika virus is part of the same family as the viruses that cause yellow fever, West Nile, Chikungunya and dengue. Zika is primarily transmitted through the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes. It can also be transmitted from a pregnant mother to her baby during pregnancy or around the time of birth. In rare cases, it can also be transmitted through sexual activity or blood transfusion.
For people who get sick, the illness is usually mild. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected. Common symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Symptoms typically begin 2 to 7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
Due to a possible link between infection during pregnancy and microcephaly in the infant, pregnant women are strongly advised to delay travel to Zika-affected areas. If travel is unavoidable they should take extra precautions to prevent mosquito bites. See your healthcare provider if you are pregnant and have traveled to a Zika-affected area within the last 12 weeks.
Additionally, pregnant women and women who are considering becoming pregnant who have a sex partner living in or traveling to Zika-affected areas should:
- Abstain from sex (vaginal, anal, or oral)
- Or use condoms correctly and consistently for the duration of the pregnancy
Men who traveled to a Zika-affected area also should:
- Abstain from sex
- Or use condoms correctly and consistently for three months after their return
With no treatment or vaccine available, the only protection against Zika is to avoid travel to Zika-affected areas. If you do travel to a country where Zika is present, the CDC advises strict adherence to mosquito protection measures:
- Use air conditioning or window/door screens
- Use mosquito repellant on skin and clothing, even during the day
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
- Empty standing water from outdoor containers (even small containers)
See your healthcare provider if you develop a fever, rash, joint pain, or red eyes within two weeks after traveling. Be sure to tell your health care provider where you traveled.