July 13, 2016 | It’s hot, it’s summer and the mosquitos are out in full force. By now most of you know that Zika isn’t another baby naming trend and that it is actually a legitimate concern, but Don’t Panic!
While the Zika virus has been in the news for a number of months now, it is easy to dismiss as an exotic disease mainly relegated to the mosquito-friendly tropics, but it’s important to know just exactly where the cases are coming from and how they are being transmitted. To date there have been three Zika-related microcephaly births in the US. A Haitian national who contracted the disease in Haiti gave birth in Florida, which follows similar births in Hawaii and New Jersey earlier this year.
According to the CDC, Microcephaly- a condition where a baby’s head and brain are much smaller than normal, often leading to significant health concerns- occurs in only a fraction (1-13% in the U.S.) of pregnant women infected by the Zika virus. Regardless, it has become synonymous with the mosquito-borne virus.
While the seven confirmed Zika virus infections in Missouri have been travel-related and not linked to local mosquito transmission, it remains important to take appropriate measures to control the pests who can also carry other diseases such as West Nile Virus during the “Mosquito Season” summer months.
These techniques may include:
- Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants
- Staying indoors
- Using EPA-registered insect repellents
- Ridding your property of standing water
- Treating your clothes with bug repellants
Now while you may think staying inside could possible ruin a summer, just remember, a few of these tips can help minimize your risk and your stress level.
If you are planning on traveling overseas, the CDC regularly updates information on the Zika virus, including a page of areas affected by the virus, which can be found HERE https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-travel-information
Stay safe everyone and keep checking back for more health tips and original blogs from your friends at Northwest Health.
Our Previous Blog Post: Preparing for the Zika Virus, can be found HERE.
Together Northwest Health clinics collectively support 16 counties in Missouri providing comprehensive, high-quality care in the areas of medical, dental and behavioral health. For more information on Northwest Health and the services we provide, visit us online at nwhealth-services.org.