Guidance on Zika Virus Prevention
|Date:||March 22, 2017|
As per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. Zika virus can sometimes be spread by having sex with an infected partner. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.
In May 2015, Brazil reported the first outbreak of Zika in the Americas. Outbreaks typically occur in tropical Africa and Southeast Asia. Zika is now present in many countries and territories. In response, CDC has issued a travel alert (Level 2-Practice Enhanced Precautions) for people traveling to regions and certain countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.
At this time, all cases within the United States have been travel-related. Due to the cold weather conditions, there is no mosquito activity in New Jersey.
Zika virus can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby. Zika virus infection during pregnancy is a cause of microcephaly (birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than expected) and other severe brain defects.
Pregnant women, those considering becoming pregnant and men with pregnant partners should follow special precautions: consider postponing travel to Zika-affected countries or if you must travel to an area with ongoing Zika transmission, to talk to your health care provider first and follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during your trip.
For those who are residing in or travelling to Zika-affected areas, here are some ways to prevent mosquito bites:
- Consider using condoms consistently and correctly during sex (vaginal, anal, or oral) or abstain from sexual activity
- Limit time outside when mosquito activity is higher
- Stay in places with air conditioning or stay in places that use window/door screens to keep mosquitoes outside
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
- Apply repellent according to the manufacturer’s specifications on the container
Pregnant women can obtain a Zika kit at a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). Here are the following FQHC locations in Bergen County:
North Hudson Community Action Corporation Health Center – Hackensack
25 East Salem Street
Hackensack NJ 07601
North Hudson Community Action Corporation Health Center – Englewood
197 South Van Brunt Street
Englewood NJ 07631
North Hudson Community Action Corporation Health Center – Garfield
535 Midland Avenue
Garfield NJ 07026
You can also create your own Zika kit: https://www.cdc.gov/zika/pdfs/zika-prevention-kit-english.pdf
As always, please contact your health care provider if you have specific health concerns related to the Zika virus.
For more information on the Zika Virus, please check out the following websites:
ZIKA AFFECTED AREAS: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/index.html
DISEASE Q & A: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/disease-qa.html
OTHER LINKS OF IMPORTANCE: