Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
Date: July 12, 2016
DOVER, DE (July 12, 2016) - Today, the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) announced a New Castle County man has tested positive for the Zika virus bringing the total number of cases in Delaware to eight. All of the Zika positive test results are due to a mosquito bite while traveling abroad and none involve a pregnancy. The man was tested within the last two weeks following recent travel.
Zika is spread primarily through mosquito bite, but also can be sexually transmitted from male to female or passed from mother to fetus during pregnancy. DPH continues to recommend condom use for men who have been diagnosed with Zika virus or have symptoms for at least six months after symptoms first appeared.
A total of 127 individuals have been, or are in the process of being, tested in Delaware. At this time, there are 110 negative results, eight positive results, seven test results pending and two indeterminate results in pregnant females. Indeterminate means that it is not possible to definitively confirm the existence of the Zika virus in the human body. Both individuals with indeterminate results were traveling or living abroad this past winter. To protect patient privacy, DPH will not announce any other information on the status of the pregnancies. Consistent with other states, DPH will announce any Zika-related microcephaly cases after a birth should it occur.
According to the CDC, there are 1,133 confirmed cases of Zika virus in the Unites States and District of Columbia. As of July 6, the CDC reports there is still no confirmed transmission of Zika by local mosquito bite in the continental U.S.
DPH recently announced new Zika public education materials targeting pregnant women and their male partners, including offering Zika Prevention Kits to pregnant women. The kits will be distributed at Delaware Women, Infants and Children (WIC) clinics and other locations. Recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the kit contains mosquito repellent, condoms, thermometers, and informational brochures. DPH will also be offering updated information and links to educational materials, which can be found at: dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/zika.html.
Zika, a generally mild illness, has been linked to serious birth defects in Brazil and other countries and is most often spread by mosquitoes.
Travel and Transmission Advisories
About one in five people infected with the virus develop the disease, and most people who are infected do not develop symptoms. The most common symptoms of Zika virus are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). Symptoms typically begin two to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
To report a potential Zika illness or receive further guidance on patient testing, call the DPH Office of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at 302-744-4990. For copies of flyers and more educational tools, see the below links.
For further information for pregnant women and their male partners:
Zika FAQs and mosquito control tips:
To reduce the risk of mosquito bites, use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered insect repellents; stay in places with air conditioning or that use window or door screens to keep mosquitoes outside; sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are outside and not able to protect yourself from mosquitoes; treat clothing and gear with permethrin available in pharmacies or purchase permethrin-treated items; and wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
To learn more about how to reduce mosquitoes around your home, two videos with information about Zika virus and backyard water sanitation tips also are available on DNREC's YouTube Channel:Zika Virus, Mosquitoes & You, and Mosquito Control & Your Backyard.
To report intolerable numbers of biting mosquitoes and request local relief, residents are encouraged to call Mosquito Control's field offices:
General Zika information:
A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind, or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person's spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit delawarerelay.com.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.