SAN ANTONIO – A new case of the Zika virus was reported Wednesday by the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District.
The total count of confirmed Zika cases in San Antonio is eight, Metro Health said. The individuals were infected while traveling in another country.
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 be transmitted through sexual activity or blood transfusion.
Officials said that individuals traveling to a Zika-affected area should take extra precautions to avoid mosquito bites for two weeks upon returning.
Common symptoms of the virus include fever, rash, joint pain or red eyes. Symptoms typically begin two to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
Metro Health officials said residents can take precautions to prevent mosquitoes from breeding by removing standing water around the home.
Residents can also protect themselves by doing the following:
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks to protect exposed skin during dusk and dawn, which is when mosquitoes are active.
- Avoid use of perfumes and colognes when working outdoors.
- Use air conditioning or make sure there are screens on all doors and windows to keep mosquitoes from entering the home.
- Use an insect repellent containing DEET or Picaridin on skin not covered by clothing.
- Choose a repellent that provides protection for the amount of time that you will be exposed. The more DEET or Picaridin a repellent contains, the longer time it can protect you.
- Spray insect repellent on the outside of your clothing (mosquitoes can bite through thin clothing).
- Do not spray insect repellent on skin that is under clothing.
- Insect repellents should not be used on young infants.
- Do not spray aerosol or pump products in enclosed areas or directly on your face. Do not allow insect repellent to contact your eyes or mouth. Do not use repellents on cuts, wounds, or irritated skin.
- If working outdoors, use soap and water to wash skin and clothing that has been treated with insect repellent.