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KY Dept. for Public Health issues Zika virus prevention guide
Travelers warned about dangers of Zika virus; public health urges mosquito protection when traveling to affected areas and urges special precautions for pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant
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By Jill Midkiff or Beth Fisher
News from Commonwealth of Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Resources
FRANKFORT, KY (3 Feb 2016) - Kentuckians traveling to areas of the world affected by the Zika virus disease, an infectious illness circulating in various countries, should take steps to protect themselves and their families from this and other vector-borne diseases, the Kentucky Department for Public Health advises.
Like many viruses, Zika can be acquired from the bite of an infected mosquito. The virus is currently circulating in parts of Mexico, Cape Verde, and 26 other countries in the Caribbean, Central America, South America, and Oceania. Zika virus disease is considered by the World Health Organization to be a serious international public health threat. Although many people who contract Zika virus infection have mild or no symptoms, pregnant women are thought to be at particular high risk for complications after Zika virus exposure, because the virus has been linked with the birth of babies who have defects in their brains.
Until more is known, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to recommend that pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant take the following precautions:
The virus is not known to be circulating in the mosquito population in in Kentucky. Zika virus disease has been increasing in recognition in Brazil, Mexico and most recently in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. For these reasons, DPH advises that Kentucky travelers follow the advice of the CDC, which continues to advise travelers to Mexico, Cape Verde, and the 26 other at-risk countries in the Caribbean, Central America, South America or Oceania, to protect themselves and their family members from mosquito bites.
Travelers are specifically advised to wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and to use approved insect repellents. CDC has additional information online on how travelers can protect themselves and their family members from mosquito bites www.cdc.gov/zika/prevention/index.html>.
International travelers to at-risk countries who develop fever, rash, and other acute symptoms within two weeks of return to Kentucky should consult with their medical provider. For a full list of affected countries/regions: www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/index.html. Localized areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing can be difficult to determine and are likely to continue to change over time. Additional facts and information specifically related to Zika virus and Zika virus disease can be found online, www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html. Kentuckians planning international travel are particularly recommended to consult the CDC’s Travelers’ Health Website, wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel, for country-specific health information for travelers. A Weblink about Zika Travel Information, wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-travel-information, is found on that site.
This story was posted on 2016-02-03 14:56:12
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