Florida Governor Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency in multiple Florida counties due to the diagnosed cases of the Zika virus. The Zika virus is a potential threat not just in Florida but throughout the country. Currently those who contract the virus only experience mild symptoms for a week, but it is potentially dangerous to pregnant women in that it is associated with birth defects. Experts state that the best way to prevent an outbreak is a proactive effort in communicating from the local level. Here’s what you can do to get the word out in your communities:
Zika virus is mainly spread through mosquito bites, but can also be transmitted sexually. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has guidelines on bite prevention and sexual transmission prevention on its web page. The best way to easily share this information is to download one of the CDC’s bite prevention fact sheets and share it with your citizens.
FOLLOW CDC TRAVEL NOTICES
The World Health Organization recently declared Zika a global public health emergency. The CDC regularly updates its travel notices, and disseminating these notices to the public can be a key focus of any local public health strategy.
Citizens that contract Zika can stop the spread by avoiding others after the first week of illness. Informing citizens about where to get tested and the importance of testing is a great tool for preventing a mass outbreak. Learn more about virus testing here.
Make sure your health departments and citizens are following the latest developments. An easy way to do this is to monitor National Association of County & City Health Officials ongoing Zika coverage.