Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – The Hays County Health Department is warning Hays County residents and evacuees from affected counties of the potential increase in mosquito breeding due to the torrential rainfall brought on by Hurricane Harvey.
There have not been any cases of locally transmitted or travel-related Zika virus in Hays County to date, but with the increase of mosquito breeding habitat comes the possibility for mosquito-borne diseases to arise such as Zika, West Nile and Dengue.
All persons in the county are encouraged to Drain all standing water at their home or business, Dress in long-sleeve shirts and long pants, and apply an insect repellant containing DEET whenever you will be outside. Following the rules of the 3-Ds will not only help you protect yourself from Zika but all other mosquito-borne diseases as well. It is important to remember that the mosquito species that is known to transmit Zika will bite throughout the entire day and prefers to occupy areas close to human inhabitation. Use window and door screens if you decide to have your windows open to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home. Apply mosquito larvicide (such as Dunks) to standing water that cannot be drained to eliminate the mosquitoes before they reach their adult form.
Hays County Epidemiologists and Environmental Health Specialists are continuing their regularly scheduled mosquito surveillance throughout the county. This is done to identify mosquitoes that may be infected with an arbovirus (multiple viruses spread by mosquitoes) before they can infect a human or other animal host.
Any person experiencing flu-like symptoms should be seen by a physician to be properly evaluated. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a helpful Zika website at https://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html and additional information on mosquito control and repellants at https://www.cdc.gov/zika/prevention/prevent-mosquito-bites.html.