AUSTIN (KXAN) — As of April 28, Travis County has seen 24 cases of illness due to the Zika virus. The health department started keeping track of the cases in early 2016.
Because of a mild Central Texas winter, officials are getting prepared for an active mosquito season, meaning the spread of Zika is more likely.
You are being asked to not leave water sitting around, it’s where mosquitoes breed and they only need a teaspoon of it to lay their eggs.
Austin Public Health says the best ways to prevent mosquito bites are:
- Remove standing water around your home
- Use EPA- registered insect repellent
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
- Stay in places with air conditioning or window and door screens
The state has recommended that all pregnant women in six South Texas counties — currently in their first and second trimester — should be tested for the Zika virus.
Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, Webb, Willacy and Zapata counties are included in the new guidance. In addition to women in their first or second trimester, any pregnant woman who has a rash and at least one other Zika symptom — fever, joint pain, or eye redness — should be tested as well.
For pregnant women in Texas not in the six listed counties, they should be tested if they have traveled to areas with ongoing Zika transmission, including any part of Mexico.