To date, there have not been any mosquitoes of the species that can transmit the Zika Virus identified in Sullivan County.
The Zika virus disease is spread to people through the bite of an Aedes mosquito infected with the Zika virus. These mosquitoes are aggressive daytime biters but can also bite at night. They can live indoors and outdoors. Zika virus outbreaks have occurred in Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the Americas. For a current map of areas with Zika transmission, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/index.html
The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). Additional symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, pain behind the eyes, and vomiting. Symptoms can begin 2 to 7 days during or within 4 weeks after being bitten and last from several days to a week. If you have travelled to an area with ongoing Zika transmission you should see your health care provider if symptoms begin. There currently is no vaccine or medications to prevent or treat Zika.
Zika virus can be spread from a pregnant mother to her unborn child, and is associated with reports of increased cases of a certain birth defect, called microcephaly. The Center for Disease Control is advising that pregnant women abstain from sex, or use condoms consistently for all sexual activities for the duration of her pregnancy if her male partner has travelled to, or lives in an area with active Zika transmission. If your male partner has travelled to an area with Zika virus transmission, you should wait three months after exposure to become pregnant. Pregnant women should consider postponing travel to areas where Zika is ongoing, and if travel is necessary should talk to their health care provider.
New York State Department of Health recommends Zika virus testing at this time to:
- Pregnant women who traveled to an area with active mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus while pregnant
- All pregnant women who, during their pregnancy, had unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex with a sex partner who traveled to an area with active mosquito-borne transmission of the Zika virus. Testing is available regardless of whether the sex partner had symptoms consistent with Zika Virus Infection
- Non-pregnant women, men or children who developed compatible symptoms during or within 4 weeks of travel to an area with active mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus.
- Persons who traveled to an area with active mosquito-borne transmission of Zika who present with Guillan-Barre syndrome.
- Infants with microcephaly or intracranial calcifications born to women who traveled to an area with active mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus while pregnant.
If you feel you meet any of the above criteria and or have sign or symptoms of illness please see your healthcare provider.
Preventative measures recommended to avoid mosquito bites include:
- Wearing long sleeve shirts and pants
- Stay indoors when mosquitoes are most active
- Use repellant products registered with the EPA
- Do not overuse repellant – only apply as much as needed for protection
- Read and follow label directions before using any kind of repellant
The public can help control the mosquito population by taking these steps to reduce their habitat as the Aedes mosquitoes breeds in containers with clean water.
This control includes doing the following things:
- Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out items that hold water, such as buckets, tires, planters, toys, pools, flowerpots and trash containers.
- If these mosquito breeding containers cannot be emptied out, use a mosquito dunk kit.
- Free mosquito Dunk kits are available for the public by calling Sullivan County Public Health at 845-292-5910, Ext. 0.
- Tightly cover water storage containers to prevent mosquitoes from laying their eggs in them.
- Use screens on windows and doors and repair any holes to help keep mosquitoes out of your home; use air conditioning whenever possible.
- To prevent mosquito bites, use an EPA-registered insect repellant. Always use repellant according to package directions.
For more information on the New York State Governor’s Zika Virus Six Step Plan, go to:
New York State Department of Health Zika website @ www.ny.gov/Zika
New York State Department of Health Zika Informational Helpline at 1-888-364-4723.
For more information on Zika Virus call:
Sullivan County Public Health Zika Informational Line: 845-513-2268
Sullivan County Public Health: 845-292-5910
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