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DALLAS COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have sent official confirmation to Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) that a patient there is the first Dallas County case of  Zika virus in 2016. DCHHS workers also say the individual acquired the virus through sexual transmission.

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POLL: With the first confirmed Zika case in Dallas County, are you more concerned about the virus now?

Health officials say the patient was infected after having sexual contact with an ill person who had returned from a country where Zika virus is present. Officials did not release the name, age, or sex of the infected person.

Late Tuesday afternoon a second case in Dallas County was confirmed. The person had recently traveled to Venezuela.

In a press releases statement DCHHS director Zachary Thompson said, “Next to abstinence, condoms are the best prevention method against any sexually-transmitted infections.”

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Zika virus is transmitted to people by mosquitoes and through sexual activity. According to the CDC, about 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus become ill.

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 several days to a week. Officials say severe cases requiring hospitalization are uncommon and deaths are rare.

DCHHS officials advise that anyone with the above symptoms, who has 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, see a healthcare provider.

There is no medication to prevent or treat Zika infections. Anyone who is infected or believes they are infected should get plenty of rest, drink lots of liquids and take medicine such as acetaminophen to help with fever and pain. Health workers say aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen and naproxen, should not be taken.

Recommendations to avoid Zika virus are similar to West Nile virus. North Texas health officials are urging residents to:

  • DEET—Use bug spray and protect clothing with repellents containing permethrin or DEET;
  • DRESS—Dress in loose, light- colored clothing with long sleeves and wear long pants;
  • DUSK/DAWN—Limit outdoor exposure at dusk and dawn;
  • DRAIN—all areas of standing water including changing water in wading pools, birdbaths, and cleaning out gutters
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