Zika Update June 2017

Summer's warm weather is finally here! Which also means rain, humidity, and bugs! Our goal is to keep our community updated on any potential risks. About 2 years ago, we started to hear about the Zika virus. What we know about the Zika virus is that it is transmitted from a mosquito and that it can also be transmitted during sexual intercourse with an affected person. Prior to last fall, the only known cases were related to travel outside of the United States. In the fall, there were cases reported in Brownsville,Texas and Miami – Dade County, Florida. On June 2nd, 2017, the “yellow” travel caution was removed from Miami – Dade County, Florida but the “yellow” travel caution still stands for Brownsville Texas.

What does the “yellow” travel caution mean?

The yellow travel zones in the United States are areas where local mosquito-borne transmissions have been identified and pregnant women are at some undetermined risk. It is recommended that pregnant women travel with caution and consider avoiding or postponing travel to these areas.

Currently there are no “red” areas in the US. Red zones are areas of active Zika transmission with multi-person local mosquito-borne transmission. These areas pose a significant risk of contracting Zika and a significant risk for pregnant women. Again, there are currently no “red” zones in the US but many popular travel areas are affected including areas in Mexico and the Caribbean. For an inclusive list of affected areas of the World you can visit the CDC website. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/world-map-areas-with-zika

Those who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should discuss travel with their healthcare provider.

What can you do to protect yourself?

Avoiding mosquito bites is the #1 preventative action we can take! Visit the CDC website for information on prevention, including insect repellents, wearing long pants and shirts, and controlling insects inside and outside of your home. https://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/pdfs/fs_mosquito_bite_prevention_us.pdf

For more information visit the CDC website or your local health department.