First case of Zika confirmed in Texas - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

First case of Zika confirmed in Texas

WICHITA COUNTY, TX (KAUZ) -

Hidalgo County, Texas has confirmed the first case of locally-transmitted Zika in the United States for 2017.

The Texas State Health Department said the virus was probably transmitted by a mosquito bite in south Texas sometime within the last few months, but Wichita Falls-Wichita County Health Officials believe that the West Nile virus poses a bigger threat to the Texoma region.

"We're more concerned about the possibility of West Nile Virus than we are about anything else," said Wichita Falls Wichita County General Environmental Administrator Susan Morris.

West Nile unlike Zika is more easily transmitted and can spread through areas via bird and other animals.  Morris adds that Texomans can play a big part in helping prevent all mosquito diseases and viruses from spreading by dumping out standing water.

"We've been really fortunate with our population this year.  Our citizens have been very vigilant in dumping out that water, which is so important.  That's the cheapest, easiest way to control the mosquito population," said Morris. 

Morris recommends investing in CDC-approved mosquito repellent with deet.  She also advises that people wear light, but long sleeves if they are out during dawn or dusk hours when mosquito are most active.

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