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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Monday, February 22, 2016

Update on Zika Virus


Update on Zika Virus
Information about the Zika Virus is rapidly growing with increased scientific study. The Santa
Barbara County Public Health Department wants to prevent transmission of the virus and
protect health locally by urging residents to monitor travel to countries where the Zika virus is
present, notifying the Mosquito and Vector Control District about potentially non-native
mosquitoes that carry the virus, and preventing mosquito bites.
Zika virus can be spread from a pregnant woman to her fetus. There have been reports of a
serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly in babies of mothers who had Zika virus
while pregnant. Knowledge of the link between Zika and birth defects is evolving, but until more
is known, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends special precautions
for pregnant women.
According to the CDC, there are currently advisories for 33 countries and territories where
active Zika virus transmission can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/activecountries.
html. The country of Mexico, in its entirety, is included on the CDC’s travel advisory
list. Because this virus has spread rapidly, it is best to check the CDC website before traveling.
This is especially relevant for pregnant women as new areas may be added at any time.
Public Health recommends that residents:
• Avoid mosquito bites to avoid disease and stay healthy.
• Report daytime and indoor biting mosquitoes to the Mosquito and Vector Management
District.
• Eliminate standing water as they are mosquito breeding sources.
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has initiated actions to prevent the spread
of Zika and protect the health of our community. We are:
• Coordinating with local healthcare providers to test for the Zika virus for travelers and
pregnant women returning from a country where Zika virus transmission is found.
• Planning with the Mosquito and Vector Management District of Santa Barbara County to
detect and monitor non-native mosquitos that carry the virus.
• Consulting with local healthcare providers about specific cases.
• Preparing public messages about the importance of avoiding mosquito bites.
Santa Barbara County has tested 5 patients for Zika virus and 2 were negative. Results are
pending for other tests.
Please see more information on Zika at www.sbcphd.org For more information, see the CDC
Zika Home Page: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html.
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Contact

PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT
300 N. San Antonio Road • Santa Barbara, CA 93110
(805) 681-5102 • FAX (805) 681-5191
www.countyofsb.org

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