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[ 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/.

]]>
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/.

]]>
Fri, 02 Sep 2016 16:38:54 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 Jamaica. This case brings the total number of travel-related cases found in Missouri to 24.

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/.

]]>
Fri, 26 Aug 2016 14:32:03 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 Mexico. This case brings the total number of travel-related cases found in Missouri to 23.

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/.

]]>
Wed, 24 Aug 2016 14:00:42 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 Mexico. This case brings the total number of travel-related cases found in Missouri to 22.

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/.

 

]]>
Fri, 19 Aug 2016 15:54:37 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 the Dominican Republic. This case brings the total number of travel-related cases found in Missouri to 21.

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 American 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/

]]>
Wed, 17 Aug 2016 14:28:25 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 men and one non-pregnant woman. Two of these individuals traveled to Nicaragua and one traveled to Puerto Rico. These cases bring the total number of travel-related cases found in Missouri to 20.

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 American 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/

 

]]>
Fri, 12 Aug 2016 14:55:09 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 Missouri man who traveled to Saint Lucia in the Caribbean. This case brings the total number of travel-related cases found in Missouri to 17.

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 American 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/

]]>
Wed, 10 Aug 2016 15:00:46 CST
<![CDATA[ Tests confirm four travelers infected with Zika virus]]>The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services confirmed four additional cases of Zika virus, including one male and three non-pregnant females. All four had been to areas where Zika virus is being transmitted locally, specifically Nicaragua, the Virgin Islands, Jamaica and Puerto Rico. These cases bring the total number of travel-related cases found in Missouri to 16.

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 countries ranging from Mexico into the Caribbean, Central American and South America.

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/

]]>
Thu, 04 Aug 2016 12:14:51 CST
<![CDATA[ Tests confirm three travelers infected with Zika virus]]>The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services confirmed three additional cases of Zika virus, including one male and two non-pregnant females. All three had travelled to areas where Zika virus is being transmitted locally, specifically Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. These cases bring the total number of travel-related cases found in Missouri to 12.

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 countries ranging from Mexico into the Caribbean, Central American and South America.

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/

 

]]>
Fri, 29 Jul 2016 15:58:20 CST
<![CDATA[ Tests confirm eighth and ninth travelers infected with Zika virus]]>The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services confirmed two additional cases of Zika virus both in non-pregnant females. One travelled to Jamaica and the other to Haiti.

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 countries ranging from Mexico into the Caribbean, Central American and South America.

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/

]]>
Thu, 07 Jul 2016 12:35:20 CST
<![CDATA[ Tests confirms seventh traveler infected with Zika virus]]>The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services confirmed an additional case of Zika virus in a female, non-pregnant Missouri resident who travelled to the Dominican Republic.

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 countries ranging from Mexico into the Caribbean, Central American and South America.

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/

]]>
Thu, 16 Jun 2016 14:44:48 CST
<![CDATA[ Tests confirm two travelers infected with Zika virus]]>The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services confirmed two additional cases of Zika virus. One case is a male Missouri resident who had travelled to the Dominican Republic. Another is a male Massachusetts resident visiting Missouri who sought assistance from a health care provider. The Massachusetts resident had travelled to Puerto Rico. 

Officials from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services have been in contact with their counterparts in Massachusetts.

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 countries ranging from Mexico into the Caribbean, Central American and South America.

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 by the CDC.

Please consult CDC resources for a listing of all areas and other information about Zika virus: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/

]]>
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 14:50:46 CST
<![CDATA[ Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services recommends top five steps Missourians can take to protect against mosquito and tick bites]]>Prepare for summer by protecting against bug bites

With summer right around the corner, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) compiled the top five tips for protecting against mosquito and tick bites. Missourians all across our state will be enjoying our great parks, trails and streams, and should know all the proper precautions to take.

Additionally, while there have not been any cases of Zika virus locally transmitted in Missouri or anywhere else in the continental United States, these tips can help people protect themselves from all mosquito and tick-borne illnesses and ease concerns Missourians may have.

"We want Missourians to enjoy all the great parks, trails and streams our state has to offer, while also protecting themselves from mosquito and tick bites," said Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Acting Director Peter Lyskowski. "A few easy steps, like wearing insect repellent or ensuring there is no standing water around a person's home, provide protection against very serious diseases that bugs can carry."

DHSS lists these top five tips as the best way to protect against bug bites:

  1. Wear insect repellent on your skin and clothing: When used correctly, insect repellent is the best way to avoid mosquito and tick bites, and even children and pregnant women can use it. Consult the CDC for acceptable repellent: http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/faq/repellent.html
  2. Wear loose fitting clothing that covers skin: When weather permits, wearing long, loose-fitting shirts and pants can reduce your chances of getting bitten by a mosquito, especially when combined with the use of insect repellent.
  3. Ensure windows, screens are secure and use air conditioning when possible: Keeping the doors, screens and windows in your home secure and intact, along with using air conditioning to keep your house cool when possible, will help reduce your exposure to mosquitoes by keeping them outside.
  4. Eliminate standing water around your home:  Mosquitoes can lay eggs in water-filled containers. Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover or throw out items that hold water, such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpots or trash containers. Check inside and outside your home.
  5. Talk to family members and friends about the importance of mosquito bite avoidance: The best way you can help protect those you care about is by sharing these tips and suggestions with your friends or family members.

For more information, the CDC has more about avoiding insect bites, especially while travelling, that Missourians can review and consult: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/avoid-bug-bites.

]]>
Fri, 20 May 2016 15:19:32 CST
<![CDATA[ Test confirms fourth Missouri traveler infected with Zika virus]]>The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services confirmed a case of Zika virus in a pregnant Missouri woman who had travelled to Nicaragua, a known area of Zika transmission. This is the fourth confirmed case of Zika virus infection reported in a Missouri resident.

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 are examining the 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 countries ranging from Mexico into the Caribbean, Central American and South America.

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 CDC resources for a listing of all areas and other information about Zika virus: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/.

]]>
Fri, 22 Apr 2016 14:51:11 CST