Zika virus: Washoe County reports first case in woman who traveled to El Salvador
According to local health officials, the mosquitoes known to carry Zika virus are not indigenous to our area. While the mosquito may find its way to Northern Nevada, it is not known whether the insect can survive in our climate.
The best way to prevent diseases spread by mosquitoes is to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites. Here are some tips:
• Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
• Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
• Treat your clothing and gear with DEET or permethrin or buy pre-treated items.
• Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents. Visit epa.gov/insect-repellents to learn more.
• Sleep under a mosquito bed net if air conditioned or screened rooms are not available or if sleeping outdoors.
RENO, Nev. — A female adult with recent travel history to a Zika-affected country is the first confirmed Zika case in Washoe County, health officials said Monday.
The woman developed symptoms consistent with Zika virus after returning from travel to El Salvador. Those symptoms included joint pain, body ache, fever, conjunctivitis, chills, abdominal pain, headache and rash.
Her symptoms resolved within a week. The woman is one of 12 individuals in Washoe County who have been tested in recent weeks. No other positive results have been received to date.
“We will continue to monitor the lab tests we have submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” said Washoe County District Health Officer Kevin Dick. “We know that the general public is concerned about the rise in the number of Zika cases, so this serves as a reminder that people going to Zika-affected countries, particularly those that are pregnant or intending to become pregnant, should take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes while traveling.”
Zika virus can be spread from a pregnant woman to her fetus and has been linked to a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly in babies of mothers who had Zika virus while pregnant.
Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus). To date, Zika has not been spread by mosquitoes in the continental United States.
However, lab tests have confirmed Zika virus in travelers returning to the United States from areas with Zika. Zika virus can also be spread during sex by a man infected with Zika to his partners. Some non-travelers in the United States have become infected with Zika through sex with a traveler.
Visit the CDC’s Zika virus page at cdc.gov/zika/index.html to learn more.
This article was provided by the Washoe County Health District. Visit washoecounty.us/health to learn more.