Know Your Risk
WEST NILE VIRUS
Eighty percent of people who contract this disease have NO SYMPTOMS, however our risk of developing debilitating neurological complications increases as we age. If infected, the risk of contracting West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease in persons over 50 increases to XX%, and in persons over 70 it increases to XX%.
There is no vaccine for West Nile virus, and so preventing mosquito bites is the biggest step against contracting the disease.
Prevention is Paramount
The Zika virus is of the greatest threat to unborn fetuses. Pregnant women and their partners should avoid travelling to areas where active Zika transmission is occurring and protect themselves from mosquito bites. People who contract Zika often do not show symptoms, yet can still transmit the disease to partners via sexual contact, and to local mosquitoes if bitten.
It's very important to take measures to protect yourself from mosquito bites by ensuring screens on doors and windows are in good condition, and when outside wearing long, loose light-colored clothing and repellent. Mosquitoes can breed in as little water as a bottle cap - so tip out items containing water around your property and toss any debris that might collect water to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs.
While first described in 1947, the Zika virus emerged as a global threat in 2015 with its link to microcephaly and other birth defects in fetuses. Local transmission of the virus in the United States was first reported in 2016 in Florida and subsequently in Texas.
TexasZika.org is a valuable resource for the public, vector control and health professionals alike (see below).
Other diseases transmitted by Aedes aegypti or Ae. albopictus