The confirmed cases of the Zika virus in Texas are all related to travel abroad, but the Texas Department of State Health Services is encouraging people to follow travel precautions for regions and certain countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.
DSHS recommends travelers avoid mosquito bites while abroad and for seven days after returning, in case they have been exposed to Zika virus. People can also protect themselves from mosquito bites by taking a few simple steps:
· Wear Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents.· Cover up with long-sleeved shirts and long pants.· Keep mosquitoes out with air conditioning or intact window screens.· Limit outdoor activities during peak mosquito times
You can also take action in and around your home to help reduce potential mosquito breeding habitats.
· At least weekly, empty or get rid of cans, buckets, old tires, pots, plant saucers and other containers that hold water.· Keep gutters clear of debris and standing water.· Remove standing water around structures and from flat roofs.· Change water in pet dishes daily.· Rinse and scrub vases and other indoor water containers weekly.· Change water in wading pools and birdbaths several times a week.· Maintain backyard pools or hot tubs.· Cover trash containers.· Water lawns and gardens carefully so water does not stand for several days.· Screen rain barrels and openings to water tanks or cisterns.· Treat front and back door areas of homes with residual insecticides if mosquitoes are abundant nearby.· If mosquito problems persist, consider pesticide applications for vegetation around the home.