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Zika virus primarily spreads to people through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms people with Zika virus disease experience are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.

It is important to take steps to prevent mosquito life cycle and bites. Here are some tips:

For your home:

  • Empty items that hold water such as bird baths, flower pots, toys and tires
  • Clean out clogged roofs and drain flat roofs
  • Keep yard and shrubs trimmed
  • Keep screens on open windows

For yourself:

  • Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus mostly bite during the daytime
  • Dress in long sleeves, long pants and baggy clothes
  • Aedes mosquitoes like feet so wear shoes with full coverage
  • Use a bug spray with DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus (not for kids under 3) or IR 3535
  • Apply repellent after sunscreen
  • Protect babies under 2 months with a mosquito net since repellent should not be used on them
  • For added protection wear clothes containing permethrin, a synthetic insecticide
  • Exercise indoors (mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide and heat. Your body naturally emits both, but increases when you work out).
  • Travel smart and follow CDC guidelines to avoid areas affected by the Zika virus

Kelly Fieleke, RN, MS, CIC
Manager of Infection Prevention


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