DNREC advises that preventing mosquito bites is the best protection against disease.
Delaware now has 15 Zika cases, and to prevent the spread of Zika and other mosquito-borne illnesses, the Division of Public Health and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control advises that preventing bites is the best protection.
All cases were caused by mosquito bites while traveling abroad.
There is currently no evidence that local mosquitoes are transmitting the illness. All but one of the Delaware Zika cases are in adults and none are pregnant. One of the most recent cases is an infant who got the illness while traveling abroad.
All individuals have recovered well, and show no long-term effects. Of the 15 Delaware cases, nine are in New Castle County, three each in Kent and Sussex counties. The Asian tiger mosquito is of the greatest concern in Delaware for possible local transmission of Zika. It is commonly found in residential areas.
A returning traveler carrying Zika could be bitten by a Delaware mosquito that picks up the virus, bites another person and transmits the disease as they feed on their blood. This is likely how Zika spread to south Florida and much of Latin America and the Caribbean.
None of the 15 Delaware individuals confirmed with Zika could locally transmit the virus if bitten by a mosquito now. After about seven days of exposure, the virus clears from the blood. However, it is still possible for adults to transmit the disease sexually, and DPH has instructed any provider treating a patient with a positive test on how to prevent sexual transmission.
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