McALLEN – City officials along with Hidalgo County officials announced Friday there has been a confirmed case of the Zika virus which is currently being investigated.
“It's important we let our citizens be aware of the situation,” Mayor Jim Darling said.
The mayor reassured the finest local experts working closely together to assist the city leaders with the process.
The Chief Administrative Officer for Health and Human Services for Hidalgo County Eddie Olivarez said his department received a report Wednesday Feb. 22 from a private lab confirming a positive testing for the Zika virus.
As of Friday Feb. 24 no travel history has been established outside of Hidalgo County and because Zika can be transmitted by mosquitos or sexual contact further investigation will be needed in an effort to determine how exposure occurred.
Information on the exposure history is still being collected but local transmission can not be ruled out.
“The current suggests that this case cannot be ruled out as to this being a localized case of Zika,” Olivarez said. “However a final investigation of this case status will be made after the investigation has been completed.”
Hidalgo County has been identified as one of the six counties of the southern Texas border that has been placed on alert for Zika virus disease by the state department of health services.
McAllen City Manager Roy “Roel” Rodriguez said both the county and the city are conducting vector control activities to disrupt the breeding of mosquitoes capable of harboring the Zika Virus.
City crews have equipped mosquito traps and the spraying routine has been increased. The same crews currently spray 12-to-18 times a year, once a month during the off-season and every few weeks during the busier times like summer. Residents can call for spot spraying as well.
“We are currently in an ongoing spraying of the whole city and should be completed by the end of the weekend,” Rodriguez said. “Additionally, City of McAllen Health Department code enforcement officers year round are looking for any code violations, such as tall grass or standing water, that may be breeding grounds for mosquitos.”
An update will be provided Tuesday Feb. 28 on the current investigation of the Zika case in McAllen.
More information on the Zika virus can be found on McAllen.net.