Zika virus FAQ's and Information

What is Zika virus disease?

Zika is a disease caused by the Zika virus that is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika.

What are the Symptoms of Zika?

About 1 in 5 people (20%) infected with Zika virus become ill (i.e., develop Zika). 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 for several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon. Deaths are rare. See your healthcare provider if you develop the symptoms and have visited an area where Zika virus is present. If you have recently traveled, tell your healthcare provider when and where.

How is Zika transmitted?

Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The mosquitoes typically lay eggs in and near standing water in things like buckets, bowls, animal dishes, flower pots, and vases. They are aggressive daytime biters, prefer to bite people, and live indoors and outdoors near people. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on a person already infected with the virus. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other people through bites. A mother already infected with Zika virus near the time of delivery can pass on the virus to her newborn around the time of birth. It is possible that Zika virus could be passed from mother to fetus during pregnancy.

Is there a treatment for Zika?

No vaccine or medications are available to prevent or treat Zika infections.

Treat the symptoms:
Get plenty of rest.
Drink fluids to prevent dehydration.
Take medicines, such as acetaminophen or paracetamol, to relieve fever and pain.
Aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen and naproxen, should be avoided until dengue can be ruled out to reduce the risk of hemorrhage. If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication.

Per the CDC it is important to protect others. During the first week of infection, Zika virus can be found in the blood and passed from an infected person to another person through mosquito bites. An infected mosquito can then spread the virus to other people. To help prevent others from getting sick, avoid mosquito bites during the first week of illness.

How can Zika disease be prevented?

It is recommended that everyone practice the 4Ds to reduce the chance of being bitten by a mosquito

  1. DEFEND- all day, every day; Whenever you are outside use a repellant containing DEET or other EPA approved repellant. Always follow the label instructions
  2. DRESS- wear long, loose, and light-colored clothing when outside
  3. DRAIN- remove all standing water in and around your home
  4. DUSK & DAWN- limit outdoor activity during the dusk and dawn hours when mosquitoes are most active.

When travelling, one can protect further by:

  1. Choose a hotel or lodging with air conditioning or screened windows/doors.
  2. Utilize a mosquito bed net if outside or in a facility that isn't well screened.

Sexual partners can protect themselves/each other by using condoms

Pregnant women or those trying to get pregnant can protect themselves further by:

  1. Pregnant women in any trimester should consider postponing any travel to regions where Zika transmission is ongoing. Pregnant women who do travel to one of the areas should talk to their doctor or other healthcare provider first and strictly follow guidelines to avoid mosquito bites during the trip.
  2. Women trying to become pregnant or who are thinking about becoming pregnant should consult with their healthcare provider before travelling to these areas and strictly follow guidelines to avoid mosquito bites during the trip.

What is the City of Rowlett doing to fight against Zika and other mosquito diseases?

The City of Rowlett continues to keep informed and up to date with all of the current health trends and communicable disease outbreaks in our area and around the country and world. In relation to the Zika virus, City Staff are working closely with other municipalities, Dallas County, and State of Texas to plan ahead, to educate the public and other staff concerning the risks.

The City will be striving to continually educate and update our citizens, strongly urging citizens to practice the 4Ds and to focus on removing all standing water, stagnant pools/spas, buckets/tires containing water, etc. from the property.

Environmental Services will be routinely driving the city streets and alleys, walking park trails, drainage channels, etc. surveying the area for sources of mosquito habitat and stagnant water.

The City currently contracts mosquito surveillance and testing activities with Dallas County. Dallas County personnel conduct all trapping and testing activities within the City boundaries. Both Rowlett Environmental Services and Dallas County Mosquito Control can/will respond to complaints.

While the City of Rowlett maintains its own ordinances, programs, and policies, the City will also consider following the management practices and leads recommended by the CDC, State of Texas, Dallas County, as well the City of Garland who is the Local Health Authority for Rowlett.

How do citizens report concerns or complaints about water or mosquitoes?

Citizens are encouraged to report any standing water, stagnant pools/spas, high populations of mosquitoes, or other concerns to:

  1. Rowlett Citizen Action Center - or 972-412-6100
  2. Rowlett Environmental Services- 972 412 6125
  3. Dallas County Mosquito Control- 214-819-2115

Environmental Services will review and investigate each concern within 48-72 hours of receipt. Citizens have the right to remain anonymous if they wish to do so.

Additional Links

Dallas County

Public Service Announcement- ZIKA and WNV

Dallas County Health and Human Services

Dallas County Health and Human Services Zika Information

Centers for Disease Control

Center for Disease Control Website

Center for Disease Control Zika Website

Center for Disease Control Zika and Pregnancy Website

Center for Disease Control Zika Information

Texas Department of State Health Services

Texas Department of State Health Services Website

Texas Department of State Health Services Zika Website

Zika in Texas

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Other Dallas County links: