North Carolina Preparing For Zika Virus; 33 Cases Confirmed

North Carolina Preparing For Zika Virus; 33 Cases Confirmed

By / State News / الأربعاء, 17 آب/أغسطس 2016 04:00

RALEIGH, N.C. : August 10th, 2016 - State health officials continue to encourage North Carolinians to take preventive measures against mosquito bites and to stay informed of the risk of Zika virus infection before traveling to areas with local, active transmission, now including Miami, Fla.
On Aug. 1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued travel, testing and other recommendations for people who traveled to or lived in a Miami, Fla. neighborhood after June 2016, when health officials discovered local transmission of the virus by mosquitoes.
Zika virus is primarily transmitted through the bite of an infectious Aedes aegypti mosquito. This mosquito, to date, has not been identified in North Carolina, according to a statewide survey of mosquito populations being conducted in conjunction with researchers at East Carolina University, North Carolina State University, Western Carolina University and experts at local health departments. Currently, 33 travel-related cases of Zika virus have been confirmed in North Carolina.
“The risk of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in North Carolina transmitting Zika virus is very low,” said State Public Health Veterinarian Carl Williams, DVM. “North Carolina’s efforts in Zika preparedness and response have positioned us well should local transmission occur. Nonetheless, it’s important for people to take preventive measures against mosquito bites and be aware of CDC guidance on travel to areas with active transmission.”
In response to Governor McCrory’s budget priorities, $477,500 was allocated to develop an infrastructure to detect, prevent, control and respond to the Zika virus and other vector-borne illnesses.The North Carolina Division of Public Health is using the funds to hire entomology and laboratory experts, and provide aid to counties across the state.
Additionally, North Carolina has been awarded more than $1 million in grant funds from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to address Zika, including surveillance, tracking and reporting of Zika pregnancy outcomes.
Symptoms of Zika virus include rash and red eyes. Less common symptoms include fever, joint pains and muscle aches.
Only about one in five people infected with Zika virus will show symptoms. Sexual transmission of Zika virus is possible, and is of particular concern during pregnancy.
A pregnant woman infected with Zika virus can pass the virus to her unborn baby. A serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly, and other adverse pregnancy outcomes have been reported in some mothers who were infected with Zika virus while pregnant.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a travel advisory recommending pregnant women consider postponing travel to any area with active Zika virus transmission. Women who are trying to become pregnant should talk to their doctors about the risk of Zika virus infection before traveling.
While the primary mosquito that carry Zika virus are not believed to be widespread in North Carolina, individuals are always encouraged, as a routine precaution, to take steps to prevent mosquito bites by:
• Wearing insect repellent registered with the Environmental Protection Agency.
• Wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants.
• Using air conditioning or make sure window and door screens are in place.
Below are important mosquito protections that every resident can take:
• Remove any containers that can hold water, including tires and saucers under flower pots. Mosquitos only need 1/8 inch of water to complete their life cycle.
• Tip and toss anything that can hold water for more than five days, including: tarps, buckets, toys, gutters, plant trivets, trash cans, wheel barrels, kayaks, canoes, boats, pools, corrugated pipes, and also check under decks.
• Keep gutters clean and in good repair.
• Repair leaky outdoor faucets and change the water in bird baths and pet bowls at least twice a week.
• When possible, drain any standing water on your property such as puddles and ditches that hold water for more than a few days after rain or plant a rain garden in those areas.
• Make sure rain barrels have tight-fitting screens or lids.
• Use screened windows and doors and make sure screens fit tightly and are not torn.
• Reduce time spent outdoors, particularly in early morning and early evening hours when mosquitoes are most active.
• Wear light-colored long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
• Apply mosquito repellent containing DEET, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, Picaridin, or IR3535 to exposed skin areas following the label directions. For additional information regarding the use of repellents see the following Web site: http://epi.publichealth.nc.gov/cd/diseases/deet.html
For more information about Zika virus for patients and health care providers, please visit http://epi.publichealth.nc.gov/cd/diseases/zika.html or www.cdc.gov/zika

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