Seven cases of Zika virus confirmed in Houston area

An Aedes aegypti mosquito acquires a blood meal on the arm of a researcher at the Biomedical Sciences Institute in the Sao Paulo's University, in Brazil, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

There are now seven confirmed cases of the ZIka Virus in the Houston area.

That's according to Harris County and Houston health officials. There are three cases in the city and 4 in the county.

We're told all individuals who have contracted the Zika virus had recently traveled to Latin America.

"We anticipate additional travel-related Zika cases and we expect the numbers to increase as people continue to travel", stated Dr. Umair A. Shah, Executive Director of HCPHES. "We recommend that if individuals are traveling to countries where Zika virus has been identified to take preventive measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites and to contact their healthcare provider if they develop symptoms associated with the virus."

We're following this developing story and will post any new information as we get it.

The World Health Organization estimates there could be up to 4 million cases of Zika in the Americas in the next year.

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The Zika virus is spreading rapidly, causing concern at the World Health Organization.

Zika symptoms diagnosis and treatment from the CDC

Symptoms

  • About 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus become ill (i.e., develop Zika).

  • The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. The incubation period (the time from exposure to symptoms) for Zika virus disease is not known, but is likely to be a few days to a week.

  • The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week.

  • Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for a few days but it can be found longer in some people.

  • Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.

  • Deaths are rare.


Diagnosis

  • The symptoms of Zika are similar to those of dengue and chikungunya, diseases spread through the same mosquitoes that transmit Zika.

  • See your healthcare provider if you develop the symptoms described above and have visited an area where Zika is found.

  • If you have recently traveled, tell your healthcare provider when and where you traveled.

  • Your healthcare provider may order blood tests to look for Zika or other similar viruses like dengue or chikungunya.

Treatment

  • No vaccine or medications are available to prevent or treat Zika infections.

Treat the symptoms:

  • Get plenty of rest

  • Drink fluids to prevent dehydration

  • Take medicines, such as acetaminophen or paracetamol, to relieve fever and pain

  • Do not take aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen and naproxen. Aspirin and NSAIDs should be avoided until dengue can be ruled out to reduce the risk of hemorrhage (bleeding). If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication.

  • If you have Zika, avoid mosquito bites for the first week of your illness.

  • During the first week of infection, Zika virus can be found in the blood and passed from an infected person to another mosquito through mosquito bites.
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