Kosrae and Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia report multiple cases of the Zika virus. Pohnpei and Chuuk have had isolated cases. Palau recently had one case. In Kosrae, there is also dengue virus, a virus similar to Zika.
Both Zika virus and dengue virus are spread by the same type of mosquito. This mosquito likes to bite humans and has adapted to live around houses, schools and workplaces—anywhere where humans congregate. Currently there is no vaccine to prevent these mosquito-transmitted diseases and no treatment if you get them. Therefore bite prevention and mosquito control are the best ways to protect yourself, your family and your community.
There are currently no Zika or dengue cases in the CNMI or Guam, but now is the time to “Fight the Bite” and avoid being bitten by mosquitos and clean your yard to remove containers of water where mosquitos breed.
With all the rain we have been having recently, we recommend every week you all:
-Empty water from containers around your home and workplace, including tires, toys, buckets, coconuts, soda cans, flower pots—anything that can hold water, even very small amounts such as tops of soda bottles
-Empty pet water bowls
-Flush out holes in trees and plants
-Keep your yard clean and drain puddles
-Clean roof gutters to make sure rain does not accumulate and can drain out properly
-Cover or screen rain collection barrels
-Fix outside leaking pipes
-Speak to your neighbor and help them empty or remove water containers.
To avoid being bitten:
-Make sure your windows and doors have well-fitting screens with no gaps or holes.
-Use air-conditioning if you have it.
-On your skin follow product instructions and use approved mosquito repellants containing deet, Picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon-Eucalyptus or Para-Methane-Diol. Do not use these two products on children younger than 3 years old.
-Dress in long sleeves and pants particularly at dawn and dusk when these mosquitoes bite the most.
-Cover strollers and baby cribs with mosquito netting.
For more information go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html. If you have any questions about how to control mosquitoes contact the Bureau of Environmental Health’s John Tagabuel on 664-4870/72/73. (BEH)