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No cases of Zika, Public Health continues to monitor situation

DPH_Version2_FullColorAlthough there are no reported cases in San Bernardino County, the Department of Public Health’s Division of Environmental Health Services, the Communicable Disease Section and Public Health Laboratory are working together to make sure any suspected Zika cases are investigated and tested appropriately.

“Even though no immediate threat to county residents exists, I would like to remind county residents to protect themselves and family members from mosquito bites, especially if traveling to Zika-affected countries.” said Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare, Health Officer.  A health alert issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) with a list of affected countries can be found on the CDC webpage at http://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/ .

The six confirmed cases of Zika virus in California were acquired in other countries. The Zika virus is primarily transmitted to people by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, the same mosquitoes that can transmit dengue and chikungunya viruses. These mosquitoes are not native to California, but have been identified in 12 California counties. In San Bernardino County they were found in October of 2015, but the risk of transmission in California is still low.

California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and CDC have also issued a guidance for pregnant women recommending they avoid travel to Zika-affected countries.  Pregnant women who cannot avoid travel to these countries should talk to their health care provider and take steps to avoid mosquito bites.

Most people infected with Zika virus will not develop symptoms. If symptoms do develop, they are usually mild and include fever, joint pain, rash and eye redness. If you have returned from an affected country and have these symptoms within two weeks, or any other symptoms following your return; please contact your medical provider and tell the doctor where you have traveled. While there is no specific treatment for the Zika virus disease, the best recommendations are supportive care, rest, fluids and fever relief.

Residents can still take precautions to avoid breeding areas around their homes by following these tips.

  • Drain or Dump – Remove all standing water around your property where mosquitos lay eggs such as birdbaths, old tires, pet watering dishes, buckets, or even clogged gutters.
  • Clean and scrub any container with stored water to remove possible eggs.
  • Dress – Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts whenever you are outdoors to avoid mosquito bites.
  • DEET – Apply insect repellent containing DEET, PICARDIN, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • Doors – Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes to prevent mosquitos from entering your home.

If you notice these small black and white mosquitoes in or around your home, please contact the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health, DEHS MVCP at (800) 442-2283 or visit our website at http://goo.gl/gdl2dt or the CDPH website at http://bit.ly/1u35fQx .

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