South West Georgia Public Health


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Important Zika Info

Zika is a virus that is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito. It is also spread through sexual contact and blood transfusions. This is not a new virus, but it is now spreading rapidly in Central and South America and the Caribbean Islands. There is no vaccine, no treatment and no cure.
There is 1 locally-transmitted case in Texas and over 40 travel-related cases in the United States, including 1 in Georgia. However, mosquitos capable of harboring the disease live here. A big concern are birth defects and other poor outcomes in babies of women infected while pregnant.

Symptoms

 About 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus get sick. Most who get sick experience mild illness.
 Most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain or conjunctivitis (red eyes).
 Symptoms typically begin 2 to 7 days after exposure.

Transmission
Zika is primarily transmitted through the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes. It can also be transmitted from a pregnant mother to her baby during pregnancy or around the time of birth.

Who is at risk of being infected?
Anyone who is living in or traveling to an area where Zika virus is found who has not already been infected with Zika virus is at risk for infection, including pregnant women.

What countries have Zika?

Specific areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing are often difficult to determine and are likely to change over time. Pregnant women and women of childbearing age should consider their specific risks when making travel plans.

Prevention

The best way to prevent diseases spread by mosquitoes is to avoid being bitten.
 Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
 Stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
 Use an insect repellent containing DEET.
 Drain empty containers holding standing water where mosquitoes can breed.
 Treat clothing and gear with permethrin or purchase permethrin-treated items.
Source: CDC

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