An individual in Mt. Juliet has tested positive for the Zika virus following travel to an area where active mosquito transmission of the virus is currently taking place and travel advisories have been issued, according to the Mt. Juliet Police Department.
City of Mt. Juliet public safety officials were informed about the case by the Tennessee Department of Health and Wilson County Emergency Management Agency (WEMA) today.
Officials say there have been no locally transmitted cases of Zika in the Mt. Juliet area or Tennessee as of today; however, they added the case serves as a reminder to everyone that precautions can be taken to prevent the spread of Zika.
"Though there has been local spread of Zika by mosquitoes in areas of South Florida, we have not identified any cases of Zika spread by mosquitoes in Tennessee. The people who have tested positive got the virus from traveling to other places where Zika virus is more widespread," said Dr. Deidra Parrish, regional medical director for the Tennessee Department of health, in a letter to area Mt. Juliet residents. "However, the mosquitoes here in Middle Tennessee may be able to spread the Zika virus if they bite someone else."
After the case was confirmed, members from the Tennessee Department of Health and WEMA went door-to-door this morning within a 200-yard radius - the recommended treatment distance - of the infected individual's residence to inform the community about the confirmed case. Officials visited residents and left prevention information packets at homes along Timber Lake Drive, Timber Ridge Court and Timber Oak Drive in the Timber Trail neighborhood.
For questions regarding the event or if anyone develops symptoms over the next two months, contact the Tennessee Department of Health at 615-650-7000 for information and to be evaluated or go and see your health care provider.
More information on the Zika virus and ways to prevent its spread can be found at the Tennessee Department of Health's website at www.tn.gov/health/topic/zika-virus.