Ask the Doctor: Zika & West Nile VIruses in Washoe County - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Ask the Doctor: Zika & West Nile VIruses in Washoe County

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The Washoe County Health District confirms a pregnant woman who traveled outside the United States contracted Zika Virus before returning to Washoe County. She is the fourth confirmed case of travel-associated Zika Virus infection in Washoe County. Health officials are following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocol. Zika has been linked to serious birth defects like microcephaly.

If you have questions about Zika Virus, Dr. Randall Todd will be answering our “Ask the Doctor” phone lines from 5 – 6 p.m. at (775) 858-2222. He is the Director of Epidemiology and Public Health Preparedness at the Washoe County Health District. Dr. Todd says we are not seeing an outbreak in northern Nevada because the region does not support the type of mosquito that carries Zika. However, even if somebody here did not travel, but they are sexually active with someone who did travel to a Zika-active area, it is possible they could be infected through sexual intercourse.

It is normal for there to be little to no symptoms of Zika Virus. Some people will develop a fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes. Very rarely will someone die of Zika, according to the CDC.

Dr. Todd can also answer your questions about West Nile Virus after a mosquito in north Reno tested positive for it. While health officials are continuing their abatement efforts, Dr. Todd says northern Nevadans must do their part to help prevent mosquito bites. Most people infected will have no symptoms. The CDC says one in five will develop a fever with a headache, body aches, joint pain, diarrhea and rash. Severe symptoms can lead to encephalitis or meningitis. People over the age of 60 are at greatest risk for severe disease.

Health officials encourage you to wear pants and long sleeve shirts during early morning and early evening hours when mosquitoes are active. Use insect repellent both on clothing and on your skin. Remove standing water around your house where mosquitoes can breed and make sure door and window screens have no tears or holes.

To learn more, call (775) 858-2222 between 5 – 6 p.m. You can also visit: http://www.washoecounty.us/health.

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