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Zika Virus Advisory

ADVISORY: Guard against Mosquito Bites

The California Department of Public Health Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith this week advised residents that although there is no evidence of mosquitoes carrying Zika virus in California, people should always take steps to avoid mosquito bites, including removing standing water, wearing long sleeved-shirts and long pants, and wearing insect repellant when necessary.

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 — which are not native to California — have been identified in 12 California counties, including Imperial County, although there are no known cases where the mosquitoes were carrying the Zika virus in this state. The six confirmed cases of Zika virus in California were acquired in other countries.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued a travel alert for people traveling to regions and certain countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. Mexico is among the 18 countries listed. People traveling to these and other countries with known Zika virus risk should take the previously mentioned steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

For more information on Zika virus disease and the travel alert, please visit the links below.