LEA COUNTY, NM (KWES) - The New Mexico Department of Health has confirmed that the mosquito capable of transmitting the Zika virus has been found in Lea County, New Mexico.
The announcement was made on Monday stating the the Aedes aegypti mosquito was trapped in Lea County.
"We are mapping out the areas at risk of Zika transmission in New Mexico," said Department of Health Secretary Designate Lynn Gallagher in a press release. "With this latest discovery, we are alerting the residents Lea County to do as others in neighboring counties are already doing: eliminate standing water around homes where these mosquitoes can breed and multiply. Help your community prevent the devastating consequences of birth defects from Zika virus infection in pregnant women."
Some steps residents can take to avoid mosquitos include:
- Look around your home and remove any standing water that may be found in flower pots, bird baths, old tires, bottle caps or other small containers, and then scrub out the containers to remove any mosquito eggs. The small squiggly creatures you may see in the standing water are mosquito larvae that will turn into adult mosquitoes in a few days.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
- Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are overseas or outside and are not able to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
- Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents. When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for children and pregnant or breast-feeding women.
Health officials said Lea County is the eighth New Mexico county were the mosquito has been discovered.
So far, there have been no reported cases of Zika in Lea County.