Stanislaus County Health Services Agency has confirmed that a 19-year-old male county resident has tested positive for Zika virus. The affected individual contracted the virus during travel outside of the United States. As of June 20, 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that all Zika cases reported in the United States were acquired as a result of travel outside the United States. Community acquired cases of Zika remains at zero.
Being careful about travel is the most effective way to protect oneself from Zika infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that women who are pregnant or may become pregnant consider postponing travel to any area with active Zika virus transmission. Maps of affected areas can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/index.html. While the mosquitoes that carry the virus have not been detected in Stanislaus County, all residents should take steps to prevent mosquito bites.
Safety precautions include: Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants; use insect repellent registered with the Environmental Protection Agency. Products with one of the following active ingredients can help prevent mosquito bites: DEET, Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin), Oil of lemon eucalyptus; treat clothing and gear with permethrin or purchase permethrin-treated items; make sure home or lodging has air conditioning or doors and windows with tight-fitting screens.
Current modes of transmission for Zika virus include bites from infected mosquitoes, sexual contact with an infected partner and mother to child transmission. Further information on frequently asked questions can be found at: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discond/Documents/ZikaQandA.pdf.
Health officials remind residents that we are currently in the peak time of year for mosquitoes. The county asks all residents to take precautions to control mosquitos such as removing standing water from around their home. Daytime-biting mosquitoes should be reported to local abatement districts. The East Side Mosquito Abatement District (209-552-4098) serves residents in Modesto and north of the Tuolumne River. Residents in the remainder of the county can call the Turlock Mosquito Abatement District at 209-634-1234.