With many of our families traveling out of the country over the summer, Fort Bend ISD wants to provide you with helpful information regarding the Zika virus. Currently, 63 cases of Zika Virus have been confirmed in Texas, with two reported cases in Fort Bend County.
The Zika virus is most often transmitted to people through the bite of infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes which can be found in the Texas. The Fort Bend County Health and Human Services Department and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention are closely monitoring mosquito activity.
About the Zika Virus:
- Most people infected with Zika virus won’t even know they have the disease because they won’t have symptoms. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. The incubation period (the time from exposure to symptoms) for Zika virus disease is not known, but is likely to be a few days to a week.
- See your healthcare provider if you are pregnant and develop a fever, rash, joint pain, or red eyes within 2 weeks after traveling to a place where Zika has been reported. Be sure to tell your health care provider where you traveled.
- The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected.
- Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for about a week but it can be found longer in some people.
- Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.
For more information about the Zika Virus, please visit the following websites:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Zika Virus
CDC Fact Sheets and Posters
Texas Department of State Health Services – Texas Zika Website
Take Action Around Homes
DSHS suggests the following steps people can take in and around their own homes to help reduce potential mosquito breeding habitats:
- At least weekly, empty or get rid of cans, buckets, old tires, pots, plant saucers and other containers that hold water.
- Keep gutters clear of debris and standing water.
- Remove standing water around structures and from flat roofs.
- Change water in pet dishes daily.
- Rinse and scrub vases and other indoor water containers weekly.
- Change water in wading pools and bird baths several times a week.
- Maintain backyard pools or hot tubs.
- Cover trash containers.
- Water lawns and gardens carefully so water does not stand for several days.
- Screen rain barrels and openings to water tanks or cisterns.
- Treat front and back door areas of homes with residual insecticides if mosquitoes are abundant nearby.
- If mosquito problems persist, consider pesticide applications for vegetation around the home.
Avoid Mosquito Bites
People living or traveling to areas with active transmission should carefully follow steps to avoid mosquito bites while there and for at least seven days after leaving the area. Precautions include:
- Wear insect repellent according to the CDCs guidance. When used as directed these insect repellents - including those that contain DEET-are proven safe and effective.
- Cover up with long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Keep mosquitoes out with air conditioning or intact window screens.
- Limit outdoor activities during peak mosquito times.
Fort Bend ISD Procedures for Insect Repellent Use During School Hours
- Concerned parents are strongly encouraged to use a repellent on their child before they leave for school, especially younger children who may have difficulty applying the repellent safely.
- No repellent sprays or lotions will be provided by or applied by school personnel during the school day.
- Parents who are concerned about mosquito exposure during the school day may send a lotion, wipe-on or wristband type of repellent for use by their child. (Sprays pose the risk of accidental exposure and will not be allowed.) A parent note giving permission for its use must accompany the repellent.
- Parents should instruct their child in the proper use and application of an acceptable repellent, since it will be retained in the child’s possession (backpack, etc.) for use when going outside for activities or practices.
- Students with physical limitations that make it impossible to self-apply a repellent will need to bring a parent note from home along with the repellent.