There are growing nationwide concerns about Zika Virus and how it can potentially affect the health of our communities. It is important for each of us to educate ourselves about Zika Virus and take steps to prevent mosquitoes from biting us and our loved ones.
Zika Virus is spread primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be spread by:
- Infected mosquito to a healthy person
- Infected person to a non-infected mosquito
- Infected pregnant woman to her unborn child
- Infected male to healthy partner through sexual contact (oral, rectal, vaginal)
The common symptoms of Zika Virus are a fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. The virus is also linked to Microcephaly and Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
However, 80% of those infected with Zika will not show symptoms but can still transmit the virus.
Currently there is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika Virus. If you do develop the more common symptoms, the CDC recommends:
- Get plenty of rest
- Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration
- Take Tylenol (acetaminophen) to reduce the fever and pain
There are precautions you can take to reduce your exposure to mosquitoes and prevent mosquito bites - Drain, Dress, and Defend.
- Empty standing water from flowerpots, buckets and barrels
- Replace water in pet dishes and birdbaths weekly
- Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out
- Clean rain gutters for good drainage
- Keep children’s wading pools empty when not being used
- Wear long pants and long sleeves
- Loose-fitting, light colored clothing is best
- Use effective repellants with Deet (at least 23%)
- Apply larvacide briquettes to standing water
- Repair or install screens on doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes from getting inside
For more information regarding Zika and how to protect yourself – visit Center for Disease Control's Zika webpage, Reno County Health Department webpage, or call the Reno County Health Department – 620-259-2698.