Travel-related Zika case confirmed in Mt. Juliet
The first travel-related case of the Zika virus has been confirmed in Mt. Juliet by the Tennessee Department of Health and Wilson County Emergency Management Agency (WEMA) officials.
Officials reported to the City of Mt. Juliet last Friday that a citizen residing in the Timber Trails neighborhood tested positive for the virus after returning from a travel destination where mosquito transmission of Zika is active.
Local officials confirmed the case was contained and that there were no other locally-transmitted cases of the Zika related virus in Tennessee.
Authorities took precautions by visiting the local Mt. Juliet area and reminding everyone of the tips to help prevent Zika.
-Apply EPA-approved insect repellent. (Follow manufacturer’s instructions)
-Wear pants and long-sleeve shirts that cover exposed skin. In warmer weather, wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that covers exposed skin.
-Use screens or close windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
-“Tip and Toss” – Remove standing water in and around the home. This includes water in cans, toys, tires, plant saucers, and an0y container that can hold water.
-Cover trash cans or containers where water can collect.
-To avoid infecting local mosquitoes, people who travel to areas with active Zika transmission should apply insect repellent every time they go outside for at least three weeks after they return to Tennessee – and longer if they develop an illness that could be Zika.
“Though there has been local spread of Zika by mosquitoes in areas of South Florida, we have not identified any cases of Zika spread by mosquitoes in Tennessee. The people who have tested positive got the virus from traveling to other places where Zika virus is more widespread. However, the mosquitoes here in Middle Tennessee may be able to spread the Zika virus if they bite someone who has the virus, and then bite someone else,” stated Medical Doctor Deidra Parrish, Regional Medical Director for the Tennessee Department of Health, in a letter to area Mt. Juliet residents.
For questions, more information on the Zika virus, and ways to prevent, visit the Tennessee Department of Health’s website at https://www.tn.gov/health/topic/zika-virus or call (615) 650-7000.