What is Zika?
The Zika virus is spread through the bite of certain types of mosquitoes. While it can cause fever, rash, joint pain and red or pink eyes, about 80 percent of people with Zika do not become ill or have symptoms. Zika also can be spread through blood transfusions and sexual contact.
Should I Worry?
Most of Texas has a long mosquito season and many people travel to places where Zika is active. This means you have a greater chance of coming into contact with the Zika virus and potentially spreading it to your loved ones and other Texans.
Although rare, the Zika virus may also be among the causes of Guillain-Barré syndrome, a condition in which your immune system attacks part of your nervous system.
The Zika virus also can be spread from mother to child, if the mother is infected with the Zika virus during pregnancy. The Zika virus has been linked to birth defects such as microcephaly, a condition where a baby’s head is much smaller than expected and can cause developmental delays.
What Can I Do to Prevent Zika?
Take these simple steps to protect yourself and your loved ones from the Zika virus.
When You're Outside:
- Apply EPA-approved insect repellent.
- Wear pants and long-sleeve shirts that cover exposed skin.
- In warmer weather, wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that covers exposed skin.
When You're at Home:
- Use screens or close windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
- Remove standing water in and around your home. This includes water in cans, toys, tires, plant saucers, and any container that can hold water.
- Cover trash cans or containers where water can collect.
Flu season is here! Here's what you can do:
- Stay Informed: TexasFlu.org is the DSHS site for flu information in Texas. Dial 2-1-1 for flu information and vaccination locations or use the Vaccine Locator to find out about vaccine availability in your area.
- Get Vaccinated: Get a flu vaccination now. It's the best way to protect yourself and others.
- Stop the Spread: Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer. Cover your coughs and sneezes. Stay home if you’re sick. Have a plan to care for sick family members at home.