Zika Virus and Protection from Mosquitoes

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Tue, May 31, 2016 -- Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System

Reno County Health Department has done a great job about getting information, prevention and protection out about the Zika Virus that has been in the news. Here is some of that info:

"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:

  • 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

DRESS:

  • Wear long pants and long sleeves
  • Loose-fitting, light colored clothing is best

DEFEND:

  • 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 http://www/cdc.gov/zika, www.renogov.org/health, or call Tara at the Reno County Health Department – 620-259-2698."

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