Health depart­ment is­sues in­for­ma­tion on Zika virus

Record Observer - - News - By HAN­NAH COMBS hcombs@kibay­

• Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants • Treat cloth­ing and gear with per­me­thrin or wear per­me­thrin-treated items. Do not ap­ply per­me­thrin di­rectly on skin. Fol­low in­struc­tions care­fully for per­me­thrin use and ef­fec­tive­ness. • Elim­i­nate stand­ing wa­ter in and around the home. • Sleep un­der a mos­quito net­ting if sleep­ing out­doors. Cover cribs and strollers with mos­quito net­ting, if used out­doors. • Use En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tive Agency reg­is­tered mos­quito re­pel­lents. When used as di­rected, they are proven safe and ef­fec­tive, even for preg­nant and breast-feed­ing women. Do not ap­ply to in­fants un­der the age of two-months. • Fol­low prod­uct in­struc­tions for use and ap­pli­ca­tion. • Do not spray re­pel­lent on the skin un­der cloth­ing. • If ap­ply­ing sun­screen, ap­ply re­pel­lent af­ter sun­screen. • Spray in­sect re­pel­lent on hands to ap­ply to the face.

CENTREVILLE — Of­fi­cials from the Queen Anne’s County Depart­ment of Health fol­low­ing guide­lines re­ceived from the Cen­ter for Dis­ease Con­trol have is­sued the sub­se­quent in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the Zika virus. The Zika virus is a dis­ease spread to peo­ple pri­mar­ily through the bite of an in­fected mos­quito.

Ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cials, the most com­mon symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes (con­junc­tivi­tis). The ill­ness is usu­ally mild, with symptoms rang­ing in du­ra­tion from days to one week. More se­ri­ous symptoms re­quir­ing hos­pi­tal­iza­tion are un­com­mon. Prior to 2015, ar­eas with ac­tive mosquito­borne trans­mis­sion were re­ported in Cen­tral and South Amer­ica. To date, no lo­cal mos­quito-borne Zika virus dis­ease cases have been re­ported in the United States, but the CDC notes there have been travel as­so­ci­ated cases within the United States. These im­ported cases may re­sult in the lo­cal spread­ing of the virus as trav­el­ers vis­it­ing or re­turn­ing to the United States in­crease.

Trans­mis­sion oc­curs when the fe­male Aedes species mos­quito be­comes in­fected by feed­ing on a per­son al­ready with the virus and then spreads the virus to oth­ers through bites. These mos­qui­toes are ag­gres­sive day­time biters, but can also bite at night. They lay their eggs in and near stand­ing wa­ter in buck­ets, an­i­mal dishes, trash cans, out­side tarps, flower pots; need­ing only a bot­tle cap of wa­ter to hatch their eggs in about a week. It is rec­om­mended to empty and scrub, turn over, cover or throw out items that can hold wa­ter around your home on a weekly ba­sis.

The greatest risk of in­fec­tion is from mos­quito bites, al­though a preg­nant woman can pass the Zika virus to her in­fant dur­ing preg­nancy. The Zika virus has been linked to in­fants born with mi­cro­cephaly (poor brain de­vel­op­ment with a smaller than nor­mal head) and other brain de­fects. Guide­lines now rec­og­nize that the Zika virus can be trans­mit­ted sex­u­ally. It is rec­om­mended to con­tact your lo­cal healthcare provider or health depart­ment to pro­vide guid­ance when in­di­cated.

The symptoms of Zika are sim­i­lar to those of dengue fever and chikun­gunya; all spread through the same mos­qui­toes. Symptoms can be treated with rest, flu­ids and Tylenol to re­duce fever and pain. Do not take as­pirin, Motrin or Advil; and if you are tak­ing medicine for an­other med­i­cal con­di­tion, talk to you doc­tor or healthcare provider. Cur­rently, there is no vac­cine to pre­vent or medicine to treat the Zika virus.

What can you do to fight the bite? Keep rain gut­ters and down­spouts clear of de­bris. Check your yard for stand­ing wa­ter in wheel­bar­rows, old tires and large plas­tic toys; also re­pair any holes in win­dow or door screens. Help pre­vent mos­quito bites by us­ing an EPA- reg­is­tered in­sect re­pel­lent that con­tains at least 20 per­cent DEET, fol­low­ing the in­struc­tions on the pack­age and reap­ply as di­rected.

Do not use in­sect re­pel­lent on ba­bies younger than 2 month of age; con­sider drap­ing a mos­quito net over their car­ri­ers, strollers or car seat for pro­tec­tion.

Adults should ap­ply re­pel­lent to their hands and spread it over the child’s ex­posed skin.

Ev­ery­one can cover ex­posed skin by wear­ing long sleeve shirts and pants. Your cloth­ing can be treated with per­me­thrin. Fol­low the prod­uct in­for­ma­tion to see how long and af­ter how many wash­ings pro­tec­tion will last for your clothes. Do not use per­me­thrin prod­ucts, in­tended to treat cloth­ing, di­rectly on your skin.

For the most cur­rent in­for­ma­tion about the Zika virus, visit zika or con­tact the Queen Anne’s County Health, 206 N. Com­merce St., Centreville, or by phone, 443-2624451.


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