Dallas County has third case of Zika virus

- A third person in Dallas County has preliminarily tested positive for the Zika virus.

County health officials on Wednesday said a local lab confirmed the positive test. The specimens will be sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta for further testing.

The patient is a 45-year-old Dallas resident who recently traveled to Honduras. He or she has already recovered from the symptoms of the virus and is not pregnant, health officials said.

Typically Zika is spread by the bite of Aedes mosquitoes. The first person to test positive in Dallas County acquired it that way while traveling in Venezuela, but the second person contracted it locally through sexual transmission.

Symptoms of the virus include fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes. Usually they are mild and only last several days. But there are no medications available that fight Zika virus and there are no vaccines.

Health officials have also noted a suspicious link between Zika’s arrival in Brazil last year and a surge in the number of babies born with abnormally small heads. The World Health Organization declared an international emergency.

Dallas County is encouraging people to take precautions such as avoiding mosquito bites, not traveling to areas where the Zika virus is present and avoid sexual contact with those who have been there.

No mosquitoes carrying the virus have been detected in the county yet.

LINK: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/.

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