Zika Case Confirmed in Bulloch County
Georgia Southern University Student Health Services received notification today that a person has tested positive for Zika virus in Bulloch County.
It is important to understand that this case is travel associated and there is no evidence that Zika is being transmitted in our area. To date, there are approximately 60 other travel-related Zika cases throughout Georgia and no evidence of local transmission in Georgia.
Treatment is supportive, and patients with Zika are educated regarding steps they can take to reduce the risk of transmission.
At Georgia Southern, campus officials have been proactive in preparing for Zika and have already done an assessment of our campus to identify and remove areas that may collect standing water. We have also been in communication with our local health department regarding guidance on other mosquito control efforts. Additionally, Zika-related information is being posted in various locations on campus.
Zika virus is transmitted primarily through the bite of infected Aedes species mosquitoes, which can be found in Georgia. Because sexual transmission of Zika has also been documented, persons can reduce the risk of transmission by using condoms or abstaining from sex.
Pregnant women should not travel to areas where there is ongoing Zika virus transmission because of a link between Zika virus and birth defects. There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika.
The two most important things that persons can do to protect themselves are to:
1) prevent transmission by mosquitoes by preventing mosquito bites
2) prevent sexual transmission by using a barrier (condoms) method for contraception
The Georgia Department of Public Health advises all persons living in Georgia to take steps to prevent mosquito bites. These steps include:
Use EPA-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or IR3535
Take steps to control mosquitoes outside your home by removing standing water reservoirs. The mosquitoes that spread Zika bite mostly during the daytime and tend to live around homes. They breed in containers so removing anything that holds water or dumping out standing water around the home after it rains will help reduce the number of these mosquitoes.
More information about Zika can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html and http://dph.georgia.gov/zika-virus-faq . Additionally, persons with other questions about Zika in Georgia can call 866-PUB-HLTH or can call the Southeast Health District Office of Infectious Disease at 912-287-4892.
Brian M. DeLoach, M.D.
Georgia Southern University Student Health Services: a Patient Centered Medical Home
984 Plant Drive, PO Box 8043
Statesboro, GA 30460
Last updated: 8/25/2016