Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services HEALTH AND SAFETY http://health.mo.gov/information/news/rss.xml Official news releases issued by the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services. en-us <![CDATA[ Weekend temperatures soar as Missouri prepares for Summer Weather Safety Week, June 18-24]]>Missouri Summer Weather Safety Week calls attention to dangers of excessive heat

JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the State Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service are promoting Missouri Summer Safety Week (June 18-24) to highlight the risks and dangers associated with excessive heat. Missourians can find a public cooling center near them by visiting health.mo.gov. Users can simply enter a ZIP code, city or county to find a cooling center nearby.

"Summer heat, like any other weather concern, brings its own set of dangers for which we need to be prepared," said Dr. Randall Williams, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. "Taking simple precautions like wearing sunscreen, staying hydrated and taking frequent breaks from the heat will go a long way towards making sure you have a happy and healthy summer.

"Additionally, we must be vigilant of the grave dangers heat can pose to the elderly, children and pets," he continued. "Reach out to your older neighbors who might be isolated and without air conditioning. And please, never ever leave a pet or child in a car."

In 2016, the Department of Health and Senior Services reported 25 heat-related deaths in Missouri.

Remember these basic tips to protect you and your family during severe heat and heat emergencies:

  • Check on those who do not have air conditioning and may spend much of their time alone.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in a vehicle.
  • Eat light, well-balanced meals at regular intervals.
  • Drink plenty of water and limit intake of alcoholic beverages.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible.
  • Protect your face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat. Wear sunscreen.
  • Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day; use the buddy system when working in extreme heat and take frequent breaks.
  • If you do not have air conditioning, consider spending the warmest part of the day in public buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls and other community facilities.
  • Be aware of medications that may impair the body's response to heat, including antihistamines, tranquilizers and some medications for heart disease.

Missourians should call the state's toll-free abuse and neglect hotline at 1-800-392-0210 to report senior citizens or adults with disabilities suffering from the heat and needing assistance. The hotline operates 7 a.m. to 12 a.m. seven days a week.

The National Weather Service has additional information on staying safe during excessive heat, as well as lightning safety at http://weather.gov/stlouis/summerweathersafetyweek. To find the cooling center nearest you, please visit health.mo.gov.

For interviews with the National Weather Service about Summer Weather Safety Week, please contact your local NWS office at the following numbers: St. Louis: (636) 441-8467; Kansas City: (816) 540-6021; Springfield: (417) 869-4491; Paducah, Ky.: (270) 744-6440; Memphis, Tenn.: (901) 544-0401; Davenport, Iowa: (563) 388-0672.

 

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Fri, 16 Jun 2017 12:08:51 CST
<![CDATA[ Online map will help families locate local summer food programs]]>Free meals will be served to low-income children at hundreds of locations in Missouri

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services offers an online map that can help low-income families in Missouri find out where their children can receive free meals this summer.

The interactive map pinpoints hundreds of locations in Missouri where meals will be provided through the state health department's Summer Food Service Program.

Community organizations serve the meals at schools, churches, parks, swimming pools, YMCA facilities, Boys and Girls Clubs and other spots where children gather when school is not in session.

The meals are provided to children who receive free or reduced price meals during the regular school year. Children do not have to register and there is no fee to participate in the program.

"Summer can be a time of food insecurity for students who receive free and reduced lunches during the school year," said Dr. Randall Williams, Director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. "This interactive map will help ensure Missouri's children are getting critical nutrition all year long."

The map is located at http://health.mo.gov/sfsp/. The map can be searched by city, county or zip code. For families without access to the Internet, many community libraries have computers the public can use free of charge. More information is also available by calling, toll-free, 1-888-435-1464 or through RELAY MISSOURI for the Hearing and Speech Impaired at 1-800-735-2966.

Meals will be served to children age 18 and under. They are also provided to individuals age 18 to 21 that have been determined by a state or local educational agency to be mentally or physically disabled and who participate in an established school program for the mentally or physically disabled.

Funding for the Summer Food Service Program is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Organizations interested in providing meals through the program can also write to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Summer Food Service Program, P.O. Box 570, Jefferson City, MO 65102.

In accordance with federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, the Department of Health and Senior Services does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC, 20250-9410, or call 800-795-3272 (voice) or 202-720-6382 (TTY).  USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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Mon, 05 Jun 2017 13:41:03 CST
<![CDATA[ Statement from the Director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services]]>

Since 1979, Missouri law has required providers of abortion services and those who treat abortion complications to report every complication they diagnose or treat after an abortion to the Department of Health and Senior Services within 45 days.

It has recently come to my attention that this law was not complied with under previous administrations.

This is unacceptable.

As soon as I became aware of this problem, the Department of Health and Senior Services took steps to ensure future compliance with the law and understanding of the importance of these reports.

As a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist who practiced for 30 years, I recognize that every procedure including abortion has recognized risks and potential complications.  By the standard of care, these risks should be discussed with the patient prior to the procedure.  And when the law requires complications to be reported, each and every complication should be reported.

The Department of Health and Senior Services will rigorously enforce this law in the future. 


Randall W. Williams, MD, FACOG

 

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Wed, 31 May 2017 17:20:38 CST
<![CDATA[ Missouri Department of Health and Services announces fees for vital records will be waived in flood affected counties]]> 

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) announced today that fees will be waived for replacement of Missouri birth, death, marriage and divorce records for persons whose documents were lost or destroyed due to the recent flooding.

"Many records may have been damaged or destroyed by the recent floods," DHSS Director Randall Williams said.  "To help relieve the burden of replacing these important documents, DHSS is waiving the fees for all vital records that were lost or destroyed due recent flooding.

Many Missouri residents can obtain their birth, marriage and divorce records locally. People born in Missouri can obtain a copy of their birth certificate from their local health department.  To locate your local health department, go to http://health.mo.gov/living/lpha/lphas.php.

For more information on obtaining vital records, visit http://health.mo.gov/data/vitalrecords/index.php. Additional information about flood recovery and resources can be found at mo.gov/flood.

 

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Thu, 11 May 2017 19:37:55 CST
<![CDATA[ 'When in doubt, throw it out,' Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services urges regarding food stored near flood water]]>

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) urges residents to be extremely cautious with food and cooking utensils stored in flooded buildings. Stored food and cooking utensils can become home to growing bacteria like salmonella and listeria, which can cause potentially serious food-borne illnesses. The bottom line is: when in doubt, throw it out.

“The best advice about food safety is this—when in doubt, throw it out,” said DHSS Director Dr. Randall Williams. “Any food that may have come into contact with flood waters should be discarded.”

As waters recede, DHSS and local public health staff are working in affected areas throughout the state to help restaurants, groceries and other food-related businesses reopen quickly and safely for you and your family. These establishments are required to be inspected before reopening where DHSS and local public health staff help identify and correct any potential risks.

There are many precautions you should take when handling food, kitchen appliances and cooking utensils stored in flooded homes as well.

Safe drinking water: It is important to establish a source of safe drinking water in your home. You will need this not just for drinking, but for proper sanitization of items in contact with flood waters also.

Bottled water that did not come in contact with flood water is safe to drink. Tap water may be used, but may need to be boiled first. If you have a private well, water samples should be collected and tested before consuming after a flood.  You may contact your local public health agency or DHSS at 573-751-3334 to obtain a free well water testing kit.

Sanitization: Items that can be sanitized should be washed with soap and clean water and rinsed with clean water, then sanitized in one of the following methods:

  • Place in water. Bring water to a boil, and boil for a minimum of three minutes, or

  • Place in a freshly-made solution of one teaspoon of unscented liquid 5.25 percent chlorine bleach per gallon of safe drinking water for 1 minute.

Allow items to air dry completely before using or storing.

Sorting food items: Many food items are not edible if stored in a flooded building. Remember, when in doubt, throw it out, and never try to determine safety by tasting foods. Tasting and smelling are not reliable methods of detecting bacteria.

Residents should throw out any food that may have come in contact with flood waters. This includes any food not in a waterproof container such as cardboard boxes, bottles and jars with screw caps, home-canned items and containers with pull tops.

Commercially canned items in metal cans and food in retort pouches like those commonly used to package tuna may be sanitized and saved.

If the home lost power: Refrigerated items generally remain unspoiled if the power was out for less than four hours and the door remained closed. Frozen items may be safely refrozen if ice crystals remain visible in the food.

Handling cooking utensils: Discard wooden cutting boards, plastic utensils, baby bottle nipples and pacifiers. You can sanitize and save all other cooking and eating utensils. 

For more information on flood cleanup and recovery go to http://health.mo.gov/living/environment/floodrecovery/index.php.

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Fri, 05 May 2017 17:42:59 CST
<![CDATA[ Be careful returning to flood-damaged homes, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services says]]>The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services urges Missourians to take extra precautions when returning to flood-damaged homes, apartments or businesses during clean-up efforts. The dangers are not over after the water goes down.

“Please be careful as you return to your homes as gas pipes, power lines and structural damage can cause life-threatening injuries and fall risks,” DHSS Director Dr. Randall Williams said.

Flood hazards such as a weakened foundation, exposed wires or contaminated floodwater are not always obvious and can be life-threatening. Always follow instructions of emergency personnel as to when it is safe to return. Following the tips below will help ensure safety after the storm.

  • Turn off the electricity and all other utilities before going inside to prevent electrocution, gas leaks and other issues. Even if the power company turned off electricity to the area, be sure to shut the power off in your home. Do not use appliances or motors that were wet, unless they are taken apart, cleaned and dried.
  • Call the electric or gas company immediately if you find downed power lines or suspect a gas leak. Look for outside damage, such as cracks in the foundation or gaps between stairs and the house. If you see damage, have a building inspector check the house before entering.
  • Be alert for gas leaks – do not strike a match or use an open flame.
  • Look before stepping into your home. Floors and stairs can be very slippery.
  • Discard refrigerated food if power was out for at least four hours or if the refrigerator door was opened during a power outage.
  • Throw away food if there is any chance it came into contact with flood water.
  • Discard wooden cutting boards, plastic utensils, baby bottle nipples, and pacifiers.
  • Use bottled water that has not been in flood waters. If bottled water is not available, boil any tap water before use.
  • Get a booster tetanus vaccine if you have not had a dose within the past 10 years or are unsure of the last time you had one. If you get a deep cut or puncture wound, seek immediate medical attention and ask about a tetanus booster.
  • Be sure to wear proper clothing and safety gear when cleaning up after a flood.
  • Immediately clean all wounds and cuts with soap and clean water.
  • Control moisture in your home to prevent mold growth. Use a disinfectant (one-and-one half cups household bleach in a gallon of water) if needed, and especially if the water damage occurred because of floodwaters or sewage backup.

Tip and toss any water pooled in outdoor containers to avoid mosquito breeding grounds.

For more information regarding flood recovery, go to http://health.mo.gov/living/environment/floodrecovery/index.php.

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Wed, 03 May 2017 08:45:34 CST
<![CDATA[ Flood water continues to pose serious risks, potential drowning, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services warns]]>Parents should keep children out of harm's way; precautions should be taken by all who work near flood water to avoid exposure

JEFFERSON CITY – With many rivers and creeks still pushing above flood stage and additional communities about to be impacted by flooding, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reminds Missourians of the serious health and safety risks posed by flood water.

“We know from experience that the major danger of flooding occurs after the storm passes and people drive or wade into moving or standing water,” DHSS Director Dr. Randall Williams said. “It is vital that people realize how risky these waters still are.”

Parents should warn children never to play in or near flood water. Soaked creek and stream banks may be unstable and suddenly give away, tossing you into moving water.

Storm drains or culverts obscured by flood water can create powerful currents that can sweep people in with deadly consequences for them along with people attempting to rescue them.

There are many risks in addition to drowning:

  • Flood water can contain raw sewage and pose other risks, including infectious diseases, hazardous chemical exposure, and debris that can cause injuries.
  • Direct contact with flood water can cause skin rashes, infect cuts or wounds, or cause stomach illnesses including vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Downed or broken power lines in flood water pose an electrocution hazard.
  • Sharp objects and debris, such as glass or metal objects, may be lurking in flood water.
  • Animals, insects, snakes and other reptiles that have been displaced due to flooding may be submerged or hiding in debris in or near flood waters.

If you have been exposed to flood waters it can make you sick. Be sure to remove clothing exposed to flood water as quickly as possible. Wash your hands and any skin exposed to flood waters with clean soap and water.

Monitor any cuts, scrapes or wounds for redness, swelling or drainage. Seek medical attention if any of these symptoms develop.

These same risks apply to people who work in clean up and recovery and are exposed to flood water.

Anyone assisting with flood cleanup should have had a booster dose of tetanus-diphtheria (Td) vaccine within the past 10 years. Contact your local health department or your primary care physician if you need a TD vaccine.

For more information regarding flood safety and recovery, go to http://health.mo.gov/living/environment/floodrecovery/index.php.

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Tue, 02 May 2017 10:43:04 CST
<![CDATA[ State seeking organizations to serve meals to children during summer months]]>Federally funded program helps fight childhood hunger

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is looking for organizations throughout the state to help feed thousands of children who would otherwise go without meals during the summer months when school is not in session.

The Summer Food Service Program reimburses organizations for meals they serve to children who are at risk of not having enough to eat. The program is one way Missouri is working to fight childhood hunger.

The summer food program provides nutritious meals to children under age 18 during the summer months when school breakfast and lunch programs are not operating.

Organizations eligible to participate in the program include schools, faith-based organizations, camps, private nonprofit agencies and local governments. The sites are required to be located in areas where at least half of the children are eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals.

The federally funded program is administered by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. The department will accept applications March 1 through May 15 to participate in the program. Organizations interested in becoming sponsors are required to attend training.

More information about the Summer Food Service Program is available online at www.health.mo.gov/sfsp , by telephone at 888-435-1464 (toll-free) or through RELAY MISSOURI for the Hearing and Speech Impaired at 1-800-735-2966.  Potential sponsors may also write to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Summer Food Service Program, P.O. Box 570, Jefferson City, MO 65102.

In accordance with federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, the Department of Health and Senior Services does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.  To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC, 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TTY).  USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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Fri, 03 Feb 2017 10:39:45 CST
<![CDATA[ Test confirms traveler infected with Zika virus]]>World Health Organization no longer categorizes Zika virus as Public Health Emergency of International Concern

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services confirmed a case of Zika virus found in man who traveled to Mexico. This case brings the total number of travel-related cases found in Missouri to 34.

Additionally, on November 18, 2016, the World Health Organization declared that Zika virus is no longer a Public Health Emergency of International Concern but instead should be viewed as an enduring public health challenge. Given that development, DHSS will no longer send out announcements regarding each travel-related case of Zika virus. However, case count information will still be available upon request.

DHSS will continue ongoing work to test possible cases, educate the public about the dangers of mosquito bites and Zika virus and track any new developments related to the disease.

The CDC is recommending pregnant women avoid traveling to Zika-affected areas which include areas of Florida and countries ranging from Mexico into the Caribbean, Central America and South America.

All travelers returning from these areas should take precautions like wearing EPA-registered insect repellent to avoid mosquitoes. Additionally, all travelers to these areas should abstain from sex or use condoms for at least 8 weeks after returning. If a traveler or a traveler's partner is pregnant or trying to become pregnant, a doctor should be consulted for specific guidance. Also, returning travelers should immediately contact their health care providers if at any point they feel they may have Zika virus.

International health officials have found a connection between pregnant women contracting the virus and a birth defect called microcephaly in their newborn infants. According to the CDC, babies with microcephaly often have smaller head sizes and brains that might not have developed properly.

Nearly 80 percent of people infected with the virus will have no symptoms. Typically, symptoms are mild and include fever, rash, joint soreness and/or redness of eyes.

According to the CDC, Zika virus has the potential to be spread through a mosquito bite, through unprotected sexual contact, through blood transfusion and an infected pregnant woman can pass Zika virus to her fetus during pregnancy.

There is not currently a vaccine for Zika virus. The best prevention measure is to avoid mosquito bites in areas with ongoing transmission. There have been no reported cases of Zika virus contracted from a mosquito bite in Missouri. Ways to avoid mosquito bites while outdoors include wearing EPA-registered insect repellent with DEET, wearing pants and long sleeves, or remaining indoors in an air conditioned environment.

Since the beginning of the year, DHSS has regularly updated health care providers and the public about Zika virus in addition to coordinating the approval of Missourians for testing.

Please consult our additional resources for more information about Zika virus: http://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/zika/.

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Mon, 28 Nov 2016 14:42:58 CST
<![CDATA[ Test confirms traveler infected with Zika virus]]>The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services confirmed a case of Zika virus found in man who traveled to Jamaica. This case brings the total number of travel-related cases found in Missouri to 33.

Nearly 80 percent of people infected with the virus will have no symptoms. Typically, symptoms are mild and include fever, rash, joint soreness and/or redness of eyes.

International health officials have found a connection between pregnant women contracting the virus and a birth defect called microcephaly in their newborn infants. According to the CDC, babies with microcephaly often have smaller head sizes and brains that might not have developed properly.

According to the CDC, Zika virus has the potential to be spread through a mosquito bite, through unprotected sexual contact, through blood transfusion and an infected pregnant woman can pass Zika virus to her fetus during pregnancy.

There is not currently a vaccine for Zika virus. The best prevention measure is to avoid mosquito bites in areas with ongoing transmission. There have been no reported cases of Zika virus contracted from a mosquito bite in Missouri. Ways to avoid mosquito bites while outdoors include wearing EPA-registered insect repellent with DEET, wearing pants and long sleeves, or remaining indoors in an air conditioned environment.

The CDC is recommending pregnant women avoid traveling to Zika-affected areas which include areas of Florida and countries ranging from Mexico into the Caribbean, Central America and South America.

All travelers returning from these areas should take precautions like wearing EPA-registered insect repellent to avoid mosquitoes. Additionally, all travelers to these areas should abstain from sex or use condoms for at least 8 weeks after returning. If a traveler or a traveler's partner is pregnant or trying to become pregnant, a doctor should be consulted for specific guidance. Also, returning travelers should immediately contact their health care providers if at any point they feel they may have Zika virus. 

Since the beginning of the year, DHSS has regularly updated health care providers and the public about Zika virus in addition to coordinating the approval of Missourians for testing.

Please consult our additional resources for more information about Zika virus: http://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/zika/.

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Tue, 15 Nov 2016 13:50:43 CST
<![CDATA[ Test confirms traveler infected with Zika virus]]>The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services confirmed a case of Zika virus found in a non-pregnant woman who traveled to the British Virgin Islands. This case brings the total number of travel-related cases found in Missouri to 32.

Nearly 80 percent of people infected with the virus will have no symptoms. Typically, symptoms are mild and include fever, rash, joint soreness and/or redness of eyes.

International health officials have found a connection between pregnant women contracting the virus and a birth defect called microcephaly in their newborn infants. According to the CDC, babies with microcephaly often have smaller head sizes and brains that might not have developed properly.

According to the CDC, Zika virus has the potential to be spread through a mosquito bite, through unprotected sexual contact, through blood transfusion and an infected pregnant woman can pass Zika virus to her fetus during pregnancy.

There is not currently a vaccine for Zika virus. The best prevention measure is to avoid mosquito bites in areas with ongoing transmission. There have been no reported cases of Zika virus contracted from a mosquito bite in Missouri. Ways to avoid mosquito bites while outdoors include wearing EPA-registered insect repellent with DEET, wearing pants and long sleeves, or remaining indoors in an air conditioned environment.

The CDC is recommending pregnant women avoid traveling to Zika-affected areas which include areas of Florida and countries ranging from Mexico into the Caribbean, Central America and South America.

All travelers returning from these areas should take precautions like wearing EPA-registered insect repellent to avoid mosquitoes. Additionally, all travelers to these areas should abstain from sex or use condoms for at least 8 weeks after returning. If a traveler or a traveler's partner is pregnant or trying to become pregnant, a doctor should be consulted for specific guidance. Also, returning travelers should immediately contact their health care providers if at any point they feel they may have Zika virus.

Since the beginning of the year, DHSS has regularly updated health care providers and the public about Zika virus in addition to coordinating the approval of Missourians for testing.

Please consult our additional resources for more information about Zika virus: http://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/zika/.

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Wed, 09 Nov 2016 15:24:38 CST
<![CDATA[ Test confirms traveler infected with Zika virus]]>The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services confirmed a case of Zika virus found in a non-pregnant woman who traveled to the British Virgin Islands. This case brings the total number of travel-related cases found in Missouri to 31.

Nearly 80 percent of people infected with the virus will have no symptoms. Typically, symptoms are mild and include fever, rash, joint soreness and/or redness of eyes.

International health officials have found a connection between pregnant women contracting the virus and a birth defect called microcephaly in their newborn infants. According to the CDC, babies with microcephaly often have smaller head sizes and brains that might not have developed properly.

According to the CDC, Zika virus has the potential to be spread through a mosquito bite, through unprotected sexual contact, through blood transfusion and an infected pregnant woman can pass Zika virus to her fetus during pregnancy.

There is not currently a vaccine for Zika virus. The best prevention measure is to avoid mosquito bites in areas with ongoing transmission. There have been no reported cases of Zika virus contracted from a mosquito bite in Missouri. Ways to avoid mosquito bites while outdoors include wearing EPA-registered insect repellent with DEET, wearing pants and long sleeves, or remaining indoors in an air conditioned environment.

The CDC is recommending pregnant women avoid traveling to Zika-affected areas which include areas of Florida and countries ranging from Mexico into the Caribbean, Central America and South America.

All travelers returning from these areas should take precautions like wearing EPA-registered insect repellent to avoid mosquitoes. Additionally, all travelers to these areas should abstain from sex or use condoms for at least 8 weeks after returning. If a traveler or a traveler's partner is pregnant or trying to become pregnant, a doctor should be consulted for specific guidance. Also, returning travelers should immediately contact their health care providers if at any point they feel they may have Zika virus.

Since the beginning of the year, DHSS has regularly updated health care providers and the public about Zika virus in addition to coordinating the approval of Missourians for testing.

Please consult our additional resources for more information about Zika virus: http://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/zika/.

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Fri, 28 Oct 2016 19:18:58 CST
<![CDATA[ Test confirms traveler infected with Zika virus]]>The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services confirmed a case of Zika virus in a non-pregnant Missouri woman who traveled to Puerto Rico. This case brings the total number of travel-related cases found in Missouri to 30.

Nearly 80 percent of people infected with the virus will have no symptoms. Typically, symptoms are mild and include fever, rash, joint soreness and/or redness of eyes.

International health officials have found a connection between pregnant women contracting the virus and a birth defect called microcephaly in their newborn infants. According to the CDC, babies with microcephaly often have smaller head sizes and brains that might not have developed properly.

According to the CDC, Zika virus has the potential to be spread through a mosquito bite, through unprotected sexual contact, through blood transfusion and an infected pregnant woman can pass Zika virus to her fetus during pregnancy.

There is not currently a vaccine for Zika virus. The best prevention measure is to avoid mosquito bites in areas with ongoing transmission. There have been no reported cases of Zika virus contracted from a mosquito bite in Missouri. Ways to avoid mosquito bites while outdoors include wearing EPA-registered insect repellent with DEET, wearing pants and long sleeves, or remaining indoors in an air conditioned environment.

The CDC is recommending pregnant women avoid traveling to Zika-affected areas which include areas of Florida and countries ranging from Mexico into the Caribbean, Central America and South America.

All travelers returning from these areas should take precautions like wearing EPA-registered insect repellent to avoid mosquitoes. Additionally, all travelers to these areas should abstain from sex or use condoms for at least eight weeks after returning. If a traveler or a traveler's partner is pregnant or trying to become pregnant, a doctor should be consulted for specific guidance. Also, returning travelers should immediately contact their health care providers if at any point they feel they may have Zika virus. 

Since the beginning of the year, DHSS has regularly updated health care providers and the public about Zika virus in addition to coordinating the approval of Missourians for testing.

Please consult our additional resources for more information about Zika virus: http://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/zika/.

 

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Wed, 05 Oct 2016 20:43:38 CST
<![CDATA[ Tests confirm two travelers infected with Zika virus]]>The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services confirmed two cases of Zika virus found in one pregnant woman and one non-pregnant woman. Both had been to areas where Zika virus is being transmitted locally, specifically Mexico and Nicaragua. These cases bring the total number of travel-related cases found in Missouri to 29.

Nearly 80 percent of people infected with the virus will have no symptoms. Typically, symptoms are mild and include fever, rash, joint soreness and/or redness of eyes.

International health officials have found a connection between pregnant women contracting the virus and a birth defect called microcephaly in their newborn infants. According to the CDC, babies with microcephaly often have smaller head sizes and brains that might not have developed properly.

According to the CDC, Zika virus has the potential to be spread through a mosquito bite, through unprotected sexual contact, through blood transfusion and an infected pregnant woman can pass Zika virus to her fetus during pregnancy.

There is not currently a vaccine for Zika virus. The best prevention measure is to avoid mosquito bites in areas with ongoing transmission. There have been no reported cases of Zika virus contracted from a mosquito bite in Missouri. Ways to avoid mosquito bites while outdoors include wearing EPA-registered insect repellent with DEET, wearing pants and long sleeves, or remaining indoors in an air conditioned environment.

The CDC is recommending pregnant women avoid traveling to Zika-affected areas which include areas of Florida and countries ranging from Mexico into the Caribbean, Central America and South America.

All travelers returning from these areas should take precautions like wearing EPA-registered insect repellent to avoid mosquitoes. Additionally, all travelers to these areas should abstain from sex or use condoms for at least 8 weeks after returning. If a traveler or a traveler's partner is pregnant or trying to become pregnant, a doctor should be consulted for specific guidance. Also, returning travelers should immediately contact their health care providers if at any point they feel they may have Zika virus. 

Since the beginning of the year, DHSS has regularly updated health care providers and the public about Zika virus in addition to coordinating the approval of Missourians for testing.

Please consult our additional resources for more information about Zika virus: http://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/zika/.

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Wed, 14 Sep 2016 16:48:04 CST
<![CDATA[ Tests confirm three travelers infected with Zika virus]]>The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services confirmed three cases of Zika virus, including two non-pregnant women and one man. All three had been to areas where Zika virus is being transmitted locally, specifically the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and the Philippines. These cases bring the total number of travel-related cases found in Missouri to 27.

Nearly 80 percent of people infected with the virus will have no symptoms. Typically, symptoms are mild and include fever, rash, joint soreness and/or redness of eyes.

International health officials have found a connection between pregnant women contracting the virus and a birth defect called microcephaly in their newborn infants. According to the CDC, babies with microcephaly often have smaller head sizes and brains that might not have developed properly.

According to the CDC, Zika virus has the potential to be spread through a mosquito bite, through unprotected sexual contact, through blood transfusion and an infected pregnant woman can pass Zika virus to her fetus during pregnancy.

There is not currently a vaccine for Zika virus. The best prevention measure is to avoid mosquito bites in areas with ongoing transmission. There have been no reported cases of Zika virus contracted from a mosquito bite in Missouri. Ways to avoid mosquito bites while outdoors include wearing EPA-registered insect repellent with DEET, wearing pants and long sleeves, or remaining indoors in an air conditioned environment.

The CDC is recommending pregnant women avoid traveling to Zika-affected areas which include areas of Florida and countries ranging from Mexico into the Caribbean, Central America and South America.

All travelers returning from these areas should take precautions like wearing EPA-registered insect repellent to avoid mosquitoes. Additionally, all travelers to these areas should abstain from sex or use condoms for at least 8 weeks after returning. If a traveler or a traveler's partner is pregnant or trying to become pregnant, a doctor should be consulted for specific guidance. Also, returning travelers should immediately contact their health care providers if at any point they feel they may have Zika virus. 

Since the beginning of the year, DHSS has regularly updated health care providers and the public about Zika virus in addition to coordinating the approval of Missourians for testing.

Please consult our additional resources for more information about Zika virus: http://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/zika/.

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Fri, 02 Sep 2016 16:38:54 CST