Metro Health confirms 2 new cases of Zika virus in San Antonio residents

Residents contracted virus while traveling abroad

SAN ANTONIO – Two new cases of the Zika virus have been confirmed in San Antonio residents, the Metropolitan Health District reported Friday.

"What we, as a health department, are doing is surveillance and making sure the virus now present in the mosquito. It is not thus far," Dr. Anil Mangla, assistant director of Metro Health said.

Metro Health said the residents contracted the virus while traveling abroad, not in Texas.

"I know people are worried but I want to reassure the population that we are safe with Zika right now," Mangla said.

Here are the latest Zika virus numbers for San Antonio:

  • 6 confirmed cases
  • 41 negative test results
  • 19 pending investigations

In the wake of recent rain across South Texas, Metro Health is advising residents to take the following precautions to reduce the mosquito population:

  • Remove standing water.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Avoid use of perfumes and colognes when working outdoors.
  • Use an insect repellent containing DEET or Picaridin.

Metro Health also advises pregnant women and women who are considering becoming pregnant who have a sex partner living in or traveling to Zika-affected areas to abstain from sex 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.

The Zika virus is part of the same family as the viruses that cause yellow fever, West Nile, Chikungunya and dengue. It is primarily transmitted through the bite of an 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 be transmitted through sexual activity or blood transfusion, Metro Health said.

Symptoms of the virus typically begin two to seven days after being bitten and include fever, rash, joint pain or red eyes, Metro Health said. The illness is usually mild and people might not realize they are infected.

Pregnant women are advised to delay travel to Zika-affected areas.