If successfully dealing with the Ebola Outbreak for the past two years wasn’t enough, the Western Hemisphere outbreak of the Zika Virus is coming in on the heals of that epidemic.
Since April 2015, various health organizations from the many affected countries have been working around the clock to come up with a solution to stop the spread of the Zika Virus which has primarily been spread via mosquito bites. But unlike the Ebola Virus, which was mostly contained to North-Western Africa, this one is hitting very close to home.
According Dr. Anne Schuchat, the principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some 30 American cities are at high risk of a Zika outbreak. The Zika virus in no longer only being transmitted via mosquito bites, there have also been several cases of the virus being transmitted through sexual contact.
Given these updates, here are the five top things to know about the Zika Virus according to the CDC’s Public Health Matters Blog:
- Zika is most commonly spread through mosquito bites
- The mosquitos in question are aggressive daytime biters
- Prevent Zika by preventing mosquito bites
- Use EPA registeres insect repellents. When used as directed, they are proven safe and effective even for preganant and breasfeeding women
- Possible link between Zika virus and Microcephaly brain deffect
- The virus can pass from mother to fetus during pregnancy and cause a birth defect of the brain called Microcephaly
- If pregnant, delay travel to ereas where Zika is spreading
- The CDC recommends that pregnant women consider postponing travel to any area where Zika Virus is spreading
- Travelers infected with Zika can spread the virus through mosquito bites
- “Protect your family, friends, neighbors, and community! If you have traveled to a country where Zika has been found, make sure you take the same measures to protect yourself from mosquito bites at home as you would while traveling. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants , use insect repellant, and stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside” – CDC