Zika announcement prompts County to issue cautionary warning
The Yuma County Public Health District is asking residents and visitors who are pregnant, or those trying to become pregnant, to take precautions to protect themselves from mosquitoes when traveling to Zika-affected areas. This comes after the State of Sonora, Mexico, reported a significant increase in the number of locally-acquired Zika cases.
Zika is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito and the virus can be passed from a pregnant women to her fetus. The virus can also be transmitted through unprotected sex with someone infected by Zika, even if they don’t show symptoms. Zika infection during pregnancy may cause birth defects including microcephaly. Most infected people will not have symptoms; those that do, may develop a fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes approximately 3-14 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
To date, there have not been any locally acquired case of Zika in Yuma County and no local mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission has been documented in Arizona.
“We are issuing this information out of an abundance of caution, particularly to women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant,” explains Diana Gomez, Director, Yuma County Public Health District. “If traveling to an affected area, please consult with your healthcare provider to ensure you take the necessary precautions both before and after your travel”.
Preventive strategies to avoid mosquito bites include wearing protective clothing including long-sleeved shirts, pants, socks and shoes. Using mosquito repellent as directed, and installing and repairing window and door screens to keep mosquitos outside.
Locally, the vector control division actively monitors mosquito population trends throughout the county and conducts fogging and spraying efforts to mitigate issues as necessary. Spraying for mosquitoes reduces adult mosquito populations, but it’s important to take proactive steps to eliminate breeding grounds. Citizens can help by looking in their yards for ANY standing water and remember to drain, empty, and cover any items that can collect water at least once a week. Residents can also help by reporting large, stagnant bodies of water and green pools by using the Service Request feature found on the County's website or by calling (928) 317-4584.