4th case of Zika virus confirmed in Shelby County
SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — The Shelby County Health Department is reporting a fourth confirmed case of Zika virus in the county.
The individual who contracted the virus had traveled to one of the affected areas, according to SCDH.
That person is showing symptoms of the virus, the department said.
Shelby County’s first confirmed case was back in April. All cases have occurred in people who have traveled to countries where Zika is prevalent.
As mosquitoes become more prevalent over the summer months, it’s essential for citizens to take the necessary precautions to reduce their risk of being bit and possibly getting Zika.
Except in pregnant women, the Zika virus is almost always a very mild illness and for most people testing is not necessary. Approximately 80 percent of those infected never show symptoms of the disease, while approximately 20 percent show only mild symptoms, the most common being fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes.
There is no vaccine to prevent infection and no specific antiviral treatment for Zika virus infection.
Pregnant women can be infected with Zika virus in any trimester, and there have been increased cases of microcephaly possibly associated with Zika virus infections. Microcephaly is a condition where the head is smaller than normal and may lead to a child experiencing a variety of other health challenges including physical and speech functions, seizure, hyperactivity, coordination problems and other brain/neurological disorders.
SCHD advises women who are pregnant or of childbearing age to especially understand the risk of contracting the Zika virus disease.
SCHD recommends the following for travelers to protect themselves against mosquitoes:
- Apply repellants to skin often; these can include lotions, liquids or sprays. SCHD recommends the use of repellants which contain DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane 3,8-diol and IR3535.
- Wear long, loose and light-colored shirts and pants and wear socks. Tucking shirts in pants and tucking pants into socks will help form a barrier. Wear closed shoes or boots instead of sandals.
- In remote locations lacking window screens and/or air conditioning, the use of bed nets is advised. These should reach the floor or be tucked under the mattress.
- Avoid perfumes, colognes and products with fragrances that might attract mosquitoes.