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Zika reported in Amarillo for first time

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) –
The City of Amarillo confirmed Friday the Zika virus has been identified in a person who recently traveled outside the United States to an area with local Zika transmission.

The person is only being identified as being from Potter or Randall County.

The Public Health Department says it continues to work with local health care providers and partner organizations to consider Zika as they see patients and to ask about travel history.

“We anticipate additional people who travel to areas with Zika transmission to be identified over the next few months,” says Public Health Director Casie Stoughton. “It is important for travelers to continue mosquito bite prevention while traveling.”

Zika can only be spread through mosquitoes carrying the virus or through sexual contact with someone infected.

Health officials nationwide are urging people considering travel to an area affected with Zika to take extra precautions against mosquitoes.

Common symptoms of Zika included fever, rash and joint pain. People traveling to an affected area are encouraged to see a physician or other healthcare provider upon their return.

"It's very important to remember the 4 D's - dressing in long sleeves and pants, wearing deet all day every day (daily), and draining any standing water to eliminate those mosquito breeding grounds."

Deet is the ingredient in most bug sprays that keeps away mosquitoes. Bug repellent without deet will not keep the mosquitoes away.

Starting next Tuesday, August 9th, women in Texas who have Medicaid coverage can qualify for up to two free cans of mosquito repellent per month.

This is because women who are pregnant or can get pregnant are at the highest risk of suffering from Zika, since the virus can cause serious birth defects.
You will have to get a written prescription from a doctor.

This is part of a statewide effort to combat the virus before it can spread.

To date, Texas has reported 93 cases of Zika, all of which were related to travel abroad. With local cases of Zika detected in Florida and travel expected to increase for the upcoming Olympics, the state health department deemed Texas to be on high alert for the virus on Wednesday.

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