How to protect yourself from Zika-carrying mosquitoes
Denton Public Health is launching a Zika prevention campaign that includes wearing pants, face masks, goggles and face shields.
“We don’t want to scare anybody, we just want to make sure we’re taking precautions,” said Melissa McDaniel, DPH assistant chief of public health.DPH is offering free, two-hour mosquito testing to anyone who wants to test for Zika, and the testing will be done at its headquarters in the city.
The testing will run from Thursday through Sunday, starting at 8 a.m.
The free testing is part of a broader campaign called “Zika Outbreak Alert” that was launched in the fall.
McDaniel said DPH’s goal is to get people tested for the virus within the next few days.
“The goal is not to scare people,” she said.
“The goal of this is to make us aware that they should take steps to protect themselves.”DHS officials have said they expect up to a million people in Texas and neighboring states will be infected by Zika, including more than 100,000 in the Houston area.
The virus is transmitted by a single mosquito bite and can be spread through direct contact with the blood of an infected person.
People who have traveled to areas where there are active Zika outbreaks can test for the disease, and they can receive a vaccination against it, although they must be at least 21 years old and have a current job and health insurance.DHS will send out letters to people who have not been tested, advising them to avoid traveling to areas with active Zika and to check their local health department for mosquito advisories.DENTON Public Health Director David J. Miller said the city has about 300,000 residents, including nearly 60,000 who live in downtown Denton.
“If we see any cases of Zika in Denton, we’re going to send out the letters to those folks to let them know that they need to be extra vigilant and make sure they’re keeping their house, their car keys and their wallet close to them,” Miller said.
“You just don’t know when this could be.”
The city’s mosquito-control strategy is similar to what it has been doing in Dallas.
Denton started a similar initiative in late May, and has since tested nearly 2,000 people.DETROIT Public Health and the Michigan Department of Health are also planning to launch Zika-related measures in the coming weeks, according to the city’s chief of staff, Paul J. Wietjen.
“It’s going to be something that we will be announcing at some point,” Wieten said.
Wietjen said he hopes the measures will be in place by early August, but declined to give a timeline.
A Denton resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said she will be tested for Zika when she returns from her trip to Brazil in September.
The woman said she doesn’t feel like she is infected, and said she did not have the virus when she traveled.
She said she hopes the new measures will keep her from getting infected and potentially spreading the disease.
“I’m not worried,” she told the Associated Press.
“I’m just trying to protect myself.”
The Zika virus is linked to microcephaly, a rare birth defect that affects about 1 in 2,300 births worldwide.
Microcepharyas is a rare disorder that results in brain abnormalities, such as an inability to learn or speak.
People with microcefas can die if their mothers do not take the appropriate precautions.
In the U.S., microcephone-equipped phone lines are being installed in schools, hospitals and some workplaces.