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Collierville Fire Department shares what to know about the Zika Virus


Recently publicized in the media, the Zika Virus, transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito, poses a minor threat to residents in Collierville. Issuing daily updates regarding the status of the Zika Virus, the Tennessee Department of Health shared that no cases of this disease have been reported in the United States due to local transmission.
The only reported cases are from people who recently traveled in areas where the Zika Virus was originally reported, specifically Central and South America.
As of March 30, only one confirmed case of the Zika Virus was reported in Tennessee; the infected individual recently traveled to South America before returning to East Tennessee. State Epidimiologist, Dr. Tim Jones, shared that people infected with the virus experience symptoms similar to a cold: mild fever, rash, red eyes and possibly achy joints. Pregnant women who traveled to infected countries and developed these symptoms need to consult with their healthcare provider.
“Eight out of 10 people will have no symptoms at all and never even know that they had it,” Dr. Jones stated. “It’s really important for people to understand that in general this is a very mild illness. Symptoms will go away by themselves on average in a week.”
The Collierville Fire Department offers these safety measures to help protect you and your family from the Zika Virus:
Prevention (When traveling to countries where Zika Virus or other viruses spread by mosquitoes)
• Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
• Stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
• Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are overseas or outside and are not able to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
• Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents. When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breast-feeding women.
• Always follow the product label instructions.
• Reapply insect repellent as directed.
• Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing.
• If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen before applying insect repellent.
• Treat clothing and gear with permethrin or purchase permethrin-treated items.
• Treated clothing remains protective after multiple washings. See product information to learn how long the protection will last.
• If treating items yourself, follow the product instructions carefully.
• Do not use permethrin products directly on skin. They are intended to treat clothing.
If you have a baby or child:
• Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months of age.
• Dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs, or
• Cover crib, stroller, and baby carrier with mosquito netting.
• Do not apply insect repellent onto a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, and cut or irritated skin.
• Adults: Spray insect repellent onto your hands and then apply to a child’s face.
Keep in mind:
• No vaccine exists to prevent Zika virus.
• Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus bite mostly during the daytime.
• Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months of age or apply onto a child’s hands, eyes, mouth and cut or irritated skin.
• Remove all sources of standing water; Flower pots, Buckets, Bird feeders, etc.
• Report any stagnant swimming pools

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