October 14, 2016
The Texas Department of State
Health Services is reminding pregnant women who cross the border with Mexico that
Zika testing is available to them and encourages them to discuss testing with
their health care providers. Under current Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention guidelines, Zika testing is recommended for any pregnant woman who has
traveled to a country with ongoing Zika transmission, including those who
regularly cross the U.S.-Mexico border.
also reminds health care providers to assess their pregnant patients for
possible Zika virus exposure at each prenatal care visit. CDC and DSHS
recommend testing for Zika antibodies as a part of routine prenatal care during
the first and second trimesters in pregnant women with an ongoing risk of Zika
reminder is especially important for pregnant women with regular, frequent
travel to any part of Mexico during the peak mosquito season of August through
October or who have a sexual partner with regular, frequent travel, defined as
crossing the border weekly or more often.
is interested in expanding the amount of Zika testing being done in Texas,
particularly in communities along the border considered to be at a higher risk
of local transmission because of their geography and history of outbreaks of
dengue, a similar virus spread by the same types of mosquitoes.
women are a particular focus because of the risk of birth defects associated
with Zika. They should avoid travel to countries with a CDC Zika travel notice
and prevent sexual transmission by using condoms or not having sex with
partners who have traveled to those areas. Information for travelers, including
a link to CDC’s travel notices, is at www.TexasZika.org/travelers.htm.
everyone can help prevent the spread of Zika by mosquito bites by:
- Using EPA-approved insect repellent. Repellents
are safe to use during pregnancy when applied according to the label
- Wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts that
cover exposed skin.
- Using air conditioning or window and door
screens that are in good repair to keep mosquitoes out of their homes.
- Removing standing water in and around homes,
including water in trash cans, toys, tires, flower pots and any other container
that can hold water.
Texas has had 229
reported Zika cases, all related to travel, including two cases transmitted via
sexual contact with someone infected overseas and two infants who were infected
before birth. For more information on Zika, including the latest testing criteria
for health care providers, visit www.TexasZika.org.
(News Media Contact: Chris
Van Deusen, DSHS Press Officer, 512-776-7753)
DSHS Press Office on