"It is particularly important for pregnant women and couples planning to become pregnant to prevent mosquito bites because Zika virus can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and severe birth defects if a pregnant woman becomes infected", Smith said.
Zika virus is spread primarily through mosquito bites and can also be transmitted by both men and women during sex.
DSHS Zika testing recommendations, insect repellent information and more is available at TexasZika.org. Texas recommends testing pregnant women who have traveled to areas with ongoing Zika transmission and anyone statewide with at least three of the four most common Zika symptoms: rash, fever, joint pain and conjunctivitis (eye redness). Symptoms may include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach, and back.
Dallas County Health officials told the Dallas County Commissioners Court Tuesday that now is the time to begin practicing mosquito prevention. The virus can cause a deadly infection in humans, particularly the elderly.
They only use the larvicide once testing shows a location does have mosquito larvae, Zentner said. In about one percent of infections, the virus can affect the nervous system, causing neurological symptoms such as disorientation, tremors, convulsions, paralysis, coma and even death. She pointed out that the rainy season will have a high influence on this year's mosquito population numbers.
With colder weathers setting in, mosquito transmitted diseases are dramatically reduced. But new research from a local hospital is speeding up the process.
Dr Baynam who heads the facial recognition team at Curtin and who was the senior author of the study, said technology could be used to assist diagnosis of genetic conditions such as microcephaly. "Lots of rain means water, which means more habitat for mosquitoes".
Texas' first West Nile illness of the year has been reported to the Department of State Health Services, an adult woman from Montgomery County who developed the neurologic form of the disease in late April. The state's first human infection of WNV this year was reported last month.