CDC Emergency Partners Newsletter - Special Zika Virus Edition - March 18, 2016

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Emergency Partners Newsletter


March 18, 2016

Zika virus (Zika) is spreading in multiple countries and territories. Please share the following information with those who may find it useful.

Table of Contents

Types of Cases

Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus). To date, Zika has not been spread by mosquitoes in the continental United States. However, lab tests have confirmed Zika virus in travelers returning to the United States. These travelers have gotten the virus from mosquito bites and a few non-travelers got Zika through sex.

With the recent outbreaks in the Americas, the number of Zika cases among travelers visiting or returning to the United States will likely increase. CDC is not able to predict how much Zika virus would spread in the continental United States. Many areas in the United States have the type of mosquitoes that can become infected with and spread Zika virus. However, recent outbreaks in the continental United States of chikungunya and dengue, which are spread by the same type of mosquito, have been relatively small and limited to a small area.

Zika virus can also be sexually transmitted by a man to his partners. Not having sex is the best way to prevent sexually transmitted Zika. If a person is sexually active, using condoms, the right way, every time he or she has sex can reduce the chance that he or she can get Zika through sex.  


There is no specific medicine or vaccine for Zika virus.

The best way to prevent diseases spread by mosquitoes is to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites.

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Treat your clothing and gear with permethrin or buy pre-treated items.
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents. Always follow the product label instructions.
  • Sleep under a mosquito bed net if air conditioned or screened rooms are not available or if sleeping outdoors.

To prevent sexually transmitted Zika, use condoms, the right way, every time you have sex.


The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Joint pain
  • Conjunctivitis (red eyes)

Most people infected with Zika virus won’t even know they have the disease because they won’t have symptoms. The sickness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika.

The following steps can reduce the symptoms of Zika:

  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Drink fluids to prevent dehydration.
  • Take medicine, such as acetaminophen, to reduce fever and pain. 
  • Do not take aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) until dengue can be ruled out to reduce the risk of bleeding. 
  • If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication.

To learn more, please visit CDC's Zika virus page.


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    NY Times Article: "A Trail of Zika-Borne Anguish"

    zika anguish

    Click the picture to read an article and view photos of families coping with Zika in Brazil.

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    Have a Happy and Healthy Spring Break!

    family spring break

    Click the photo the view this Spring Break fact sheet.

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    Communication Tips

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    Promote Action

    During a public health crisis, giving people meaningful things to do may help calm anxiety, restore order, and promote a sense of control. Currently, increasing cases of Zika virus disease (Zika)—and their possible link to other harmful health outcomes—are cause for concern. As this outbreak continues to affect the Americas and Caribbean areas, CDC is working to provide guidance, including action steps people can take to prevent further spread of Zika.

    Zika is largely spread through the bite of an Aedes mosquito, but may also be transmitted through sexual contact. The best ways to avoid catching and spreading Zika are to have safe sex and use products that minimize the risks of being bitten by mosquitos.

    To help people understand how they can protect themselves and their families, CDC has outlined how to they can build their own prevention kits. Each kit should include:

    • A bed net
    • Insect repellent
    • Permethrin spray
    • Standing water treatment tabs
    • A thermometer
    • Condoms

    This one-page handout provides clear instructions and images to show people how to stay safe from Zika, whether they live in or travel to affected areas. This resource may also be shared to educate neighbors and promote action in other communities.

    Giving people something meaningful to do in response to a crisis may help them take protective actions, make sense of the situation, and restore a sense of control.

    For more information, please visit our CERC website and refer to Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication, 2014 Edition.

    Have you used CERC in your work? To share your CERC stories, e-mail Your stories may appear in future CERC Corners.

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    Online Resources


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    Stay Connected

    These social media messages are available so that you can share on your organization's social media accounts.

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    Are your spring break plans taking you somewhere tropical? Find out if your destination has Zika. Prevent mosquito bites during and after travel to prevent the spread of Zika. See CDC’s travel notices for more information:

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    The best way to prevent the spread of ‪#‎Zika‬ is to prevent mosquito bites. CDC recommends using EPA-registered insect repellents.

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    Planning to travel abroad for #SpringBreak? See CDC travel notices for important #Zika information:

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    Learn more about #Zika virus, how it spreads, and more: 


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    Social Media Partner Resources

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    Contact Us


    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    1600 Clifton Rd
    Atlanta, GA 30333


    Contact CDC-INFO

    800-CDC-INFO    (800-232-4636)    TTY: 888-232-6348

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