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6 confirmed cases of Zika virus in TX, 6 more being tested in Bexar Co.

Everyone being tested had traveled to South America

SAN ANTONIO – The state of Texas has six confirmed travel-related cases of Zika virus disease in the state. The travelers were infected abroad and diagnosed after they returned home.

There has been no reported local transmission of the disease in the continental United States.

The announcement comes on the same day MetroHealth confirmed that six people in Bexar County have been tested for the virus after showing symptoms.

Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause fever, rash, muscle and joint aches and pinkeye. Symptoms are usually mild, and most people exposed to Zika virus won’t develop any symptoms at all. 

There have been reports of microcephaly and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of mothers who were infected with Zika virus while pregnant.

The Texas Department of State Health Services is encouraging people to follow travel precautions for regions and certain countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.

DSHS recommends travelers avoid mosquito bites while abroad and for seven days after returning, in case they have been exposed to Zika virus. People can protect themselves from mosquito bites by:

  • Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants
  • Using EPA-registered insect repellents
  • Using permethrin-treated clothing and gear 
  • Staying and sleeping in screened-in or air-conditioned rooms