Zika Virus: What you Need to Know
Zika is a virus that is spread mostly by the bite of an infected mosquito. Zika is especially concerning for pregnant women who can pass the virus to the fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects.
There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika, and local mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission has been reported in the continental United States. That’s why it’s important to learn about the virus and how you can protect yourself and those around you.
HOW IS ZIKA TRANSMITTED?
- Primarily transmitted by infected mosquitoes
- Aedes aegypti (yellow fever mosquito) and Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger mosquito)
- Mosquitoes go from egg to adult in a week to 10 days
- Same mosquitoes transmit dengue, chikungunya, Zika viruses
- Zika is passed from an infected person to a mosquito through a bite, mosquito then bites someone else
- Sexual transmission of Zika cases have been documented
COUNTRIES WITH OUTBREAKS OF ZIKA VIRUS:
- Pacific Islands
Pregnant women should not travel to these countries, and male sex partners who have traveled to these countries should use condoms during sex.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
- fever and headache conjunctivitis
- joint pain muscle pain
HOW DO YOU PROTECT AND PREVENT DURING TRAVEL?
- DEET: Use EPA registered insect repellents containing DEET (during travel and 3 weeks after)
- Stay in places with air conditioning or window and door screens
- Wear protective clothing (light-colored, long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks)
- Sleep under a mosquito net
HOW DO YOU PREVENT ZIKA IN GEORGIA?
- Clean up around your home and yard
- Get rid of anything you don’t need that can hold water – standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitos
- Use larvicides (Mosquito Dunks© or Mosquito Torpedoes©) where you can’t dump out water
- Tip ‘n Toss containers after every rain and at least once a week – dump out standing water in flowerpots and planters, children’s toys, pet dishes
- Don’t let water accumulate in old tires, rain gutters, piles of leaves or natural holes in vegetation
- Cover water storage containers (buckets, cisterns, rain barrels)