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    First Harris County Zika Virus Case Diagnosed

    Katy, TX (July 14, 2016) State Representative Mike Schofield put out a letter about the recent Zika virus case in Harris County:

    Dear Friend,

    We received word today that Harris County Public Health has confirmed the first Zika Virus related microcephaly case in Harris County and in the State of Texas.  An infant tested positive for the Zika virus and contracted the virus in utero after his mother traveled from Latin America where she was likely infected.

    The Texas Department of State Health Services is coordinating with Harris County Public Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to follow the case.

    Texas has logged 59 cases of Zika virus disease, including three confirmed cases of Zika in pregnant women. All are related to travel abroad to areas with active Zika transmission. There have been no reported cases of Zika virus transmitted by mosquitoes in Texas.

    Now that we have a confirmed case of microcephaly in Harris County and cases of travel contracted Zika, I thought it would be helpful to provide you with some data regarding the virus and ways to prevent contracting it.

    Zika virus is spread primarily through the bite of the Aedes species mosquito. According to the CDC, symptoms of Zika are usually mild and include fever, rash, conjunctivitis (red eyes), and joint-pain, lasting several days to a week. Zika can also be transmitted sexually. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon and death is rare. There is currently no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika virus infection.

    The CDC recommends that all people who are traveling to areas where Zika virus is found, should take precautions to avoid mosquito bites to reduce their risk of infection with Zika virus as well as other mosquito-borne viruses such as dengue and chikungunya. CDC recommends that pregnant women should avoid traveling to Zika affected areas.

    State health officials urge everyone to follow precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites:

    •         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.
    •         Use screens or close windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
    •         Remove standing water in and around the 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.

    For more information about Zika prevention for Texas go to www.TexasZika.org.

    Thank you again for allowing me the honor of representing you. Please let me know if there’s anything that my office can do to be of service to you.

    God bless Texas!

    Mike Schofield
    State Representative
    House District 132
    Katy & Cypress

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