DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Zika virus continues to spread worldwide, and Dallas County Health and Human Services on Tuesday reported nearly a dozen cases here in North Texas. While no one contracted the virus in the DFW area, or even in the United States, any local cases are cause for concern.
There are 10 pregnant women in Dallas County who appear to be displaying Zika symptoms, however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will not confirm any diagnosis until after their babies are born. The Zika virus has been linked to birth defects including a small brain.
The Zika virus was found in Brazil last year after a spike in the number of babies born with brain defects and small heads. Like the West Nile virus, the Zika virus is typically spread my mosquitos. Statistics show that there have not been any human cases of West Nile reported this year.
There have been 46 cases of Zika reported across Texas this year, however. All but one of those cases were contracted abroad. Earlier this year, Dallas County had the world’s first case of the Zika virus that was transmitted through sexual contact. Those two patients have both since fully recovered.
Most of the Texas cases have come from Harris County, which includes Houston.
According to the CDC, only about 1 in 5 people infected with Zika actually become ill. The most common symptoms include a fever, a rash, joint pain and red eyes. Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headaches. The symptoms often stick around for up to a week.
There is no medication to prevent or treat the Zika virus. Anyone who is infected should get rest, drink a lot of liquids and take acetaminophen to help with fever and pain. The virus rarely results in hospitalization or death.