Fort Worth

Tarrant County has eighth Zika case; traveler visited Honduras

An undated photo of an aedes aegypti mosquito. It bites during the daytime and can carry the Zika virus.
An undated photo of an aedes aegypti mosquito. It bites during the daytime and can carry the Zika virus. AP

The eighth Zika case was confirmed Wednesday in Tarrant County, but officials say there has been no local transmission of the virus, which can be carried by mosquitoes.

A private lab confirmed the sample, according to Tarrant County Public Health.

This is the second imported case for Tarrant County from an individual who has visited Honduras. The previous cases involved individuals who went to the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Puerto Rico (2), St. Lucia and St. Martin. Tarrant County isn’t releasing any other information about the individual.

The Pan American Health Organization reports that 40 countries in the Americas now have local transmission of the Zika virus.

Zika is transmitted primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito of the genus Aedes, which bites during the daytime. Sexual transmission has been reported in a small number of cases. The West Nile virus is carried by the Culex mosquito, which bites at night.

For most, Zika symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is typically mild with symptoms lasting no more than seven days.

But Zika has exploded across South America, where cases of microcephaly have been reported in infants born to mothers who had the virus.

In microcephaly, a baby’s head is much smaller than expected and the child’s brain does not develop properly during pregnancy or stops growing after birth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Reducing mosquito breeding sites is advised to reduce mosquito populations.

Tarrant County Public Health advises residents to do the following:

▪ Routinely dump standing water on property

▪ Overturn all small containers,

▪ Dispose of any trash or debris that can contain small amounts of water.

Bill Hanna: 817-390-7698, @fwhanna

The mosquito kills nearly 750,000 people each year. Malaria is the cause for the majority of these deaths, but a Zika outbreak has the Americas scared of this insect. This is how the insect spreads disease to its victims.

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