Test results confirm 1st case of Zika in Knox County - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Test results confirm 1st case of Zika in Knox County

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(KNOXVILLE) - The Knox County Health Department announced Friday it has received lab results confirming Knox County's first Zika virus case. The individual recently returned from a trip overseas to an area with mosquito-borne transmission of Zika, according to a health department press release. 

The individual is expected to fully recovery, the health department said. 

“We’ve been expecting a travel-associated case of Zika virus and believe more are likely as people travel to and from areas with active Zika transmission,” said KCHD Director Dr. Martha Buchanan. 

Friday's announcement is the fifteenth confirmed case in Tennessee. The first case in the state was confirmed in East Tennessee back in early February.

However, none of the Tennessee cases so far were the result of local spread by mosquitos. 

“It’s important for the public to know that we still have not seen local transmission in the continental U.S.," Dr. Buchanan said, "However, it’s also crucial for the public to know that they play a major role in preventing local transmission by taking precautions to prevent mosquito bites and by eliminating mosquito habitats on their properties and at their businesses.” 

Knox County Health Department staff will work closely with the local Zika casa, including their family members and others in the household, to prevent the virus from spreading, according to Deputy Director Mark Miller. 

Staff will also be conducting door-to-door education in the community where the individual with Zika lives. 

Zika virus during pregnancy can cause birth defects. The CDC recommends all pregnant women consider postponing travel to areas where Zika virus transmission has been reported. 

Experts say preventing mosquito bites, while at home and traveling, is important to avoid the spread of disease. 

Officials recommend the following:

  • Apply repellants to skin often; these can include lotions, liquids or sprays. The CDC recommends the use of repellants that contain DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane 3, 8-diol and IR3535. The duration of protection varies by repellant; read labels on products to determine when reapplications are necessary for optimal protection.
  • Wear long, loose and light-colored shirts and pants and wear socks.
  • Treat clothing with permethrin or purchase pretreated permethrin clothing.
  • Dispose of, regularly empty, or turn over any water holding containers on your property such as tires, cans, flower pots, children’s toys or trash cans.
  • Fill in hollow tree stumps and rot holes, a common breeding ground for the Aedes mosquito, with sand or concrete.
  • To prevent breeding in large water-holding devices, including bird baths or garden pools, use larvicides such as mosquito torpedoes or mosquito dunks. If used properly, larvicides will not harm animals.
  • Check the CDC’s travel webpage before traveling outside the U.S. because it’s important to be aware of the diseases impacting your destination(s), including those spread by mosquitoes, and take steps to prevent infection.
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