Although anyone can contract the virus, the greatest threat is to unborn babies. The number of those at risk increases in correlation with the population of Aedes mosquitoes which is growing here in California and other states according to Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. Are we prepared?
There is currently no specific treatment or vaccine available. The best protection against Zika is prevention, which consists of reducing mosquito bites through the use of mosquito nets, insect repellents containing DEET, and clothing that covers the skin. Good sanitation and hygiene measures in the home, covering water tanks and stopping water from collecting both inside and outside the house, is also essential to reduce mosquito breeding. For this reason, poorer communities lacking in water and sanitation infrastructure may be more at risk from the virus.
- Zika is a virus transmitted by mosquitoes
- Originating in Brazil, the virus has spread to 20 other countries
- There is no treatment or vaccine available
- Symptoms include mild fever, skin rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis normally lasting 2 – 7 days
- Pregnant women are mainly at risk and may cause birth defects in babies
- Prevent transmission by avoiding mosquitoes altogether. Use insect repellent and cover exposed skin.
For more information visit: www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/zika/index.html
Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna