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Health Services » Mosquito Transmitted Disease Information - PLEASE BEWARE!

Mosquito Transmitted Disease Information - PLEASE BEWARE!

ON THIS PAGE I will be posting important information on Mosquito Transmitted Diseases such as West Nile Virus and other diseases caused by transmission from infected mosquitoes.  Please keep and eye on this page as I will be updating this information as soon as I receive it from DCHHS. They keep me abreast of new human infections, areas where traps have discovered mosquitoes with infection, areas of concentration where abatement spraying is planned, and other pertinent information.  As atmospheric changes take place every year the mosquito population is growing abound and the likelihood of infected mosquitoes in our presence grows significantly which puts us at risk of mosquito borne illnesses. This does not seem to be slowing down even with county monitoring and spraying efforts. More and more test results are showing increased virulence in mosquitoes and we must take precautions to keep us and our loved ones safe from infection, which some may prove to be fatal. There are several types of mosquito borne illnesses but these are the most common for our area.
 
Here is the link to the latest DCHHS newsletter which states that there have been positive tests in the Coppell areas.  Also the link to the current spray map
Spray Map as of 9/11/2018:  https://dallas.leateamapps.com/PublicMap/
DCHHS Website for West Nile Virus:  http://www.dallascounty.org/department/hhs/westnile.html
 
DCHHS Website for West Nile Virus Watch 2018:  http://www.dallascounty.org/department/hhs/WestNileWatch.html
This website page shows positive traps collected according to ZIP code and number of human infections by area. This is Dallas County only.
 
This website offers a lot of good information on mosquito borne illnesses.  https://www.mosquito.org/page/diseases
 
This is the latest release from DCHHS:
 
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Press Release                                                                                          September 10, 2018  

DCHHS Reports
8th Human Case of West Nile Virus

DALLAS (September 10, 2018) – Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) is reporting the 8th human case of West Nile Virus infection in Dallas County for the year 2018. The case is a resident of the 75080 zip code of Richardson. The patient was diagnosed with West Nile neuroinvasive disease. For medical confidentiality and personal privacy reasons, DCHHS does not provide additional identifying information.

 

“Controlling an epidemic of WNV infection is a community effort that calls upon residents to take preventative measures to reduce exposure,” said Ganesh Shivaramaiyer, DCHHS interim director. “Dallas County Health and Human Services not only conducts active surveillance to detect WNV and monitor infection rates locally but also educates the community to take preventative action.” 

 

The best way to avoid exposure to West Nile Virus is to avoid mosquito bites. Residents should use the 4Ds to reduce their risk:

  • DEET All Day, Every Day: Whenever you’re outside, use insect repellents that contain DEET or other EPA approved repellents and follow instructions. 
  • Dress: Wear long, loose, and light-colored clothing outside. 
  • Drain: Drain or treat all standing water in and around your home or workplace. 
  • Dusk & Dawn: Limit outdoor activities during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes  are most active.

 

WNV is a disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes can become infected when they feed on the blood from infected birds.  The infected mosquitoes can then transmit WNV to humans and animals. Severe WNV infections can cause neurologic complications such as encephalitis. Milder symptoms include fever, headache and muscle aches. There is no vaccine or specific treatment for WNV. 

 

 

 

For more information on mosquito prevention follow DCHHS on Facebook and Twitter or go to:

 

www.dallascounty.org/department/hhs/mosquito_prevention.html 

 


For additional information, contact:
  Public Information Officer
PIO_DCHHS@dallascounty.org 
   214.819.6329 (office) 
214.394.8109 (cell)


 Ganesh Shivaramaiyer, Interim Director  

 
 
 
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CONTACTS 

Public Information Officer 

PIO_DCHHS@dallascounty.org 

214.819.6329 (office) 214.394.8109 (cell) 

Ganesh Shivaramaiyer, Interim Director

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DCHHS Reports the First Case of Imported Chikungunya Virus 

DALLAS (August 28, 2018) – Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) is reporting the first case of imported Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) in Dallas County for 2018.

The 11-year-old resident of Irving was infected during recent travel to India. For medical confidentiality and personal privacy reasons, DCHHS does not provide additional information.

CHIKV is transmitted to people through mosquito bites from Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. These are the same mosquitoes that have been found to carry Zika and Dengue viruses. CHIKV does not often result in death, however the symptoms can be disabling. Most people infected with CHIKV will develop symptoms of fever, joint pain, headache, muscle pain, joint swelling or rash.

There is no vaccine to treat or prevent the Chikungunya virus. CDC advises persons with CHIKV to get plenty of rest, drink fluids to prevent dehydration and to take Tylenol to reduce fever and pain.

The best way to avoid exposure to CHIKV is to avoid mosquito bites. Residents should use the 4Ds to reduce their risk.

1.DEET containing insect repellants

2.Dress - Long, loose, light colored clothes

3.Drain any standing water and/or use mosquito larvicides to kill and prevent mosquito breeding

4.Dusk/Dawn - avoid outside exposure during these times of day are they are the most active times of day for mosquitoes.

 
For your review, here is some medical information that you need to know as it pertains to symptoms from infection and the type of infections related
 
West Nile Virus:  Symptoms and signs of West Nile virus include fever,headachebody achesskin rash, and swollen lymph nodes. Severe symptoms and signs may include stiff necksleepinessdisorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, and paralysis. Most cases of West Nile virus infection are mild and go unreported.
 

What is West Nile virus?

West Nile virus (WNV) is a disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on the blood from infected birds.

The infected mosquitoes can then transmit WNV to humans and animals. West Nile disease can vary in severity. People over 50 years of age have the highest risk of severe disease.

Severe WNV infections can cause neurologic complications such as encephalitis. Milder symptoms include fever, headache and muscle aches.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about WNV

  • Is it contagious?
    No. WNV is not spread through contact from person to person or from animal to person.
  • How is it diagnosed?
    Diagnosis of WNV requires a special blood test. Anyone who experiences symptoms of severe WNV illness should see a physician as soon as possible.
  • What is the treatment?
    There is no specific treatment for WNV infection. Patients receive supportive medical care and rehabilitation if needed.
  • What if I’m not experiencing any symptoms?
    Most infected people will show no symptoms. Symptoms typically develop between 3 to 14 days after a mosquito bite.
 
Chikungunya:  

Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is transmitted to people by mosquitoes. The virus causes high fever and severe joint pain that start suddenly. It can also cause headache, muscle pain and rash.CHIKV does not often result in death, but the symptoms can be disabling, and some people may get severe complications.

Transmission

CHIKV is transmitted to people through mosquito bites that bite mostly during the daytime. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on a person already infected with the virus. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other people through bites. CHIKV is rarely transmitted from mother to newborn around the time of birth. CHIKV is not spread through casual contact, such as touching or kissing a person with the virus.

Symptoms

Symptoms appear on average of 3 to 7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. The symptoms of CHIKV vary from person to person, and can include:

  • Sudden onset of high fever (>102°F)

  • Severe joint pain mainly in the arms and legs

  • Headache

  • Muscle pain

  • Back pain

  • Rash (~50% of cases)

Most patients feel better after a few days or weeks. Some people may develop longer-term joint pain. Complications are rare, but more common in:

  • Infants (<1 year)

  • Elderly (>65 years)

  • People with chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, etc.

***Extra caution should be taken by people in these groups to avoid mosquito bites.***

Treatment

There is no specific medication to treat CHIKV and there is no vaccine to prevent CHIKV.

Using medicines (other than aspirin) to lower your fever and joint pain may help. Consult a doctor.

If you think you may have CHIKV:

  • Record your symptoms and see a doctor.

  • Protect yourself against further mosquito bites.

  • If you are sick with CHIKV, avoiding bites will help to protect others from getting sick.

 
Zika Virus

Zika is a disease caused by Zika virus that is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika.

Transmission

While sexual transmission of Zika virus is possible, it is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The mosquitoes typically lay eggs in and near standing water in things like buckets, bowls, animal dishes, flower pots, and vases. They are aggressive daytime biters, prefer to bite people, and live indoors and outdoors near people. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on a person already infected with the virus. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other people through bites. A mother already infected with Zika virus near the time of delivery can pass on the virus to her newborn around the time of birth. It is possible that Zika virus could be passed from mother to fetus during pregnancy.

Symptoms

About 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus become ill (i.e., develop Zika). The most common symptoms of Zika virus are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon. Deaths are rare.

DCHHS advises individuals with symptoms to see a healthcare provider if they visited an area where Zika virus is present or had sexual contact with a person who traveled to an area where Zika virus is present.

Treatment

There is no specific medication available to treat Zika virus and there is not a vaccine. Treat the symptoms:

  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Drink fluids to prevent dehydration.
  • Take medicines, such as acetaminophen or paracetamol, to relieve fever and pain.
  • Aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen and naproxen, should be avoided until dengue can be ruled out to reduce the risk of hemorrhage. If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication.

If you have Zika virus, 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.
  • An infected mosquito can then spread the virus to other people.
 
PREVENTION:
Mosquito Prevention

Mosquitoes can transmit viruses such as West NileChikungunyaDengue and Zika. It is important for Dallas County residents to take action to prevent exposure to mosquitoes. DCHHS recommends the 4Ds as precautions for protecting yourself, loved ones, and neighbors.

In addition to the 4Ds, travelers can protect themselves by doing the following:

  • Choose a hotel or lodging with air conditioning or screens on windows or doors.
  • Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are outside or in a room that is not well screened.

 

woman applying insect repellent to a child

DEET All Day, Every Day: Whenever you’re outside, use insect repellents that contain DEET or other EPA approved repellents and follow instructions.

The mosquito that transmits West Nile virus is known as the southern house mosquito and is very active in Dallas County. For maximum protection during mosquito season, use insect repellent all day every day, and while indoors and outdoors. Always follow label instructions.

woman in light colored clothing

DRESS: Wear long, loose, and light-colored clothing outside.

Mosquitoes look for exposed skin and are more attracted to dark colored clothing. You can decrease exposure by wearing appropriate clothing. Wearing long sleeves and pants light in color are best. Never put mosquito repellent under clothing.

gutter with standing water

DRAIN: Remove all standing water in and around your home.

Mosquitoes breed and larvae develops in standing water. Mosquito populations can be reduced by eliminating breeding sources.Empty standing water from containers such as flower pots and kiddie pools. Bird baths and ponds should be cleaned and maintained. Old tires and other garbage can collect water. Dispose of garbage items appropriately. Drain and/or treat areas that collect water, such as gutters and storm drains. Low areas around landscapes that collect water can be filled with dirt to make leveled.

man and woman out at dusk

DUSK & DAWN: Limit outdoor activities during dusk and dawn hours when mosquitoes are most active.

Mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus are more active at dusk and dawn. Mosquitoes that carry Chikungunya virus are more active during the day, but are out during dusk and dawn. For these reasons, it is important to wear insect repellent throughout the day during mosquito season and reapply per label instructions. Make sure window screens and screen doors are in good repair to keep mosquitoes from coming inside.

 

While all 4Ds are important, draining or treating standing water is especially crucial since mosquitoes breed in water. Treating standing water is most effective when mosquito activity actually begins.

Using Larvicides to Treat Standing Water

  • Larvicides are products used to kill immature mosquitoes before they become adults.
  • Standing water can be treated with EPA-approved larvicide products.
  • Tablet, pellet, granular, and briquet formulations of larvicides are available for retail purchase.
  • Larvicides are applied directly to water sources that hold mosquito eggs, larvae, or pupae.
  • When used well, larvicides can help reduce the overall mosquito burden by limiting the number of mosquitoes that are produced, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
mosquitodunksmosquitobits
These images are examples of larvicide products. DCHHS does not recommend or endorse any specific type of product. Before using any product, consumers should always read and follow label instructions.

 

Read more about West Nile virus and download materials.

Read more about Chikungunya virus and download materials.

Read more about Dengue and download materials.

Read more about Zika virus and download materials.

For general questions or for more information about
Dallas County Health and Human Services please call 214-819-2000.

Ganesh Shivaramaiyer
Interim Director
Christopher Perkins, D.O., M.P.H.
Medical Director / Health Authority

 

Last Updated: 01/17/2018