Hidalgo Co. Officials Announce Inconclusive Zika Test Results

4 years 10 months 2 weeks ago Tuesday, February 28 2017 Feb 28, 2017 February 28, 2017 5:16 PM February 28, 2017 in News

MCALLEN – The Hidalgo County Health and Human Services and the city of McAllen were unable to determine where a patient contracted the Zika virus.

The county health officials said the results from the investigation into the Zika case came back inconclusive. They couldn’t determine if it was a localized case. They are waiting for results from the CDC.

Eddie Olivares with the Hidalgo County Health Department said given the information provided by the patient, they cannot confirm or deny whether the patient traveled outside the U.S.

He added that the possibility of Zika in the coming months is high due to weather conditions.

Neighboring cities are already taking precautions. Mission Health Supervisor Ernie Zapata said the city is taking extra measures following the Zika case announcement last week.

The city’s efforts included spraying the city for mosquitoes.

Zapata said they’ll be looking into possibly amping up the efforts after the recent announcement. The city of McAllen is also taking precautions by spraying throughout the city.

However, Josh Ramirez with McAllen Code Enforcement said the mosquito fog isn’t enough.

“It’s not 100 percent effective because it has to land on the mosquito and then kill it. And we understand mosquitoes right now, if there's tall grass, if there's a home or a building that has like a little cave, mosquitos are smart they're going to go hide. So that's why we say it's not 100 percent effective, but we're going to kill most of them that are flying around and throughout the public areas,” he said.

Ramirez urges people throughout the city to spray around their homes, in any potential spots where mosquitoes can breed.

Olivares said the results from the CDC will not help determine if the case was localized or travel related. However, the patient is no longer infected with Zika.

There are currently 28 positive Zika cases in Cameron County, 12 of those were pregnant women.

So far no mosquitoes caught and tested in the Valley have come up positive for the Zika virus. Recently, the Cameron County Health Department was granted $832,000 from the state for the fight against Zika.

Hidalgo County will be receiving about half of that amount.

Tips to Help Prevent the Zika Virus:

  • Use insect repellents when you go outside.
  • Wear long sleeves, pants and socks when you head outside.
  • Take extra care during peak mosquito biting hours.
  • Use extra repellent or put on more clothes during dusk and dawn.
  • Empty out any nearby standing water.

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