There is a confirmed case of Zika virus in Bulloch County. The patient’s case is travel-related, and there is no evidence that the virus is being transmitted in the Statesboro area.
Despite approximately 60 other cases of travel-related Zika virus in the State of Georgia, there are no reports of local transmission of the virus in Georgia.
A campus alert sent by the Dean of Students claims that campus officials have been proactive in preparation for the Zika virus and have done an assessment of the Georgia Southern University campus to identify and remove areas that may collect standing water.
GS officials have also been in communication with the local health department regarding mosquito control methods, according to the campus alert.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Zika is spread mainly by the bites of infected Aedes species mosquitos, which are aggressive daytime biters that may also bite at night.
The virus is also spread through sex with people infected with Zika, even if they do not experience symptoms. Zika is spread through oral sex, anal sex, vaginal sex or the sharing of sex toys, according to the CDC. Condoms and other barrier methods can prevent sexual transmission of the virus.
Many people with Zika will not experience symptoms or will have only mild symptoms. Symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis (red eyes), muscle pain and headache.
According to the CDC, when pregnant women are infected with Zika, the virus can cause a birth defect of the brain called microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects. Defects of the eye, hearing deficits and impaired growth have also been reported in infants infected with Zika during pregnancy.
The Georgia Department of Public Health advises Georgia residents to take steps in preventing mosquito bites, including:
Use EPA-registered insect repellents containing diethyltoluamide (DEET),picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or IR3535.Avoid standing water reservoirs.Remove standing water reservoirs near your home. Mosquitos tend to breed in exposed outdoor water containers, so remove or empty anything that holds water after rain to help reduce the number of mosquitos.