CDC Emergency Partners Newsletter - Special Zika Virus Edition - June 3, 2016

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Emergency Partners Newsletter


June 3, 2016

Zika virus (Zika) outbreaks are occurring in many countries and territories. Please share the following information with those who may find it useful.

Table of Contents

Zika Transmission

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 can't predict how much Zika virus will spread in the continental United States. 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 from areas with Zika.

Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus). A man with Zika virus can pass it during sex to his male or female partnersSome non-travelers in the United States have become infected with Zika through sex with someone who has traveled to an area with Zika. 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 in limited areas.

Not having sex can eliminate the chance of getting Zika from sex. Men who live in or travel to areas with Zika can avoid transmitting Zika to their partners by using condoms every time they have sex, or by not having sex. To be effective, condoms must be used correctly (warning: this link contains sexually graphic images) from start to finish, every time you have vaginal, anal, or oral (mouth-to-penis) sex. 

Birth Defects

Zika virus can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus during pregnancy or around the time of birth. Zika infection during pregnancy is a cause of microcephaly, a severe birth defect that is a sign of a problem with brain development, and other severe fetal brain defects.

In addition to microcephaly, other problems have been detected among fetuses and infants infected with Zika virus before birth, such as defects of the eye, hearing deficits, and impaired growth. Although Zika virus has been linked with these other problems in infants, there is more to learn. Scientists continue to study the full range of other potential health problems that Zika virus infection during pregnancy may cause.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome

Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is an uncommon sickness of the nervous system in which a person’s own immune system damages the nerve cells, causing muscle weakness, and sometimes, paralysis.

  • The Brazil Ministry of Health has reported an increased number of people who have been infected with Zika virus who also have GBS.
  • GBS is very likely triggered by Zika in a small proportion of infections, much as it is after a variety of other infections.
  • CDC is investigating the link between Zika and GBS.


The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are

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

Many 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.


There is no medicine for Zika. See your doctor or other healthcare provider if you develop symptoms.

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 prevent others from getting sick, strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the first week of illness.


There is no vaccine for Zika. 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 learn more, please visit CDC's Zika virus page and key messages.


New NEJM Paper: "Zika and the Risk of Microcephaly"

New Link: Training Resources for Health Providers

New MMWR: Interim Guidance for Interpretation of Zika Virus Antibody Test Results

New Fact Sheet: How to Protect Yourself Against Mosquito Bites (For Puerto Rico)

CDC welcomes suggestions and feedback. If you would like to comment on any of these announcements or send us suggestions, including suggestions for new content, please contact us at

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    Dr. Frieden Addresses the Zika Outrbeak at the National Press Club

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    Click the image to watch the video.

    Dr. Frieden speaks to the National Press Club about the necessity of Congress to properly fund the fight against Zika. Click the image or here to watch the full speech.

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    A Positive Zika Test- What Does it Mean for Me? (Men)

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    Click to load the full document.

    Click here or the image above to read about what men can do if they receive a positive Zika test result.

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    Dr. Besser and Dr. Frieden Answer Facebook Questions about Zika

    Click the image to watch the video.

    ABC News' Dr. Richard Besser and CDC Director Tom Frieden answer Facebook questions about the Zika virus from CDC's Emergency Operations Center. Click here or the image above to watch.

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    Weekly CERC Teleconference: "CERC, Risk Attributes, and Pregnancy"


    To address the communication concerns and needs of state, local, and territorial health communicators, as well as partner organizations, CDC is hosting a series of Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) teleconferences related to Zika issues.

    These teleconferences began on Tuesday, May 17, and are held weekly on Tuesdays from 1-2 pm (Eastern Time). Each week, a new CERC topic will be presented as it relates to Zika.

    June 7 – CERC, Risk Attributes, and Pregnancy: People perceive some risks as more risky than science experts do. Understanding risk perceptions when facing a new, emerging threat like Zika virus may refocus your health messages. We will explore what attributes of risk cause more concern and why. Join the discussion on risk attributes, risk perceptions and pregnancy.

    Audio Conference Access Information:

    1-800-369-1662 (U.S. Callers)

    1-203-827-7082 (International Callers)

    Passcode: 3266392

    Presentation slides for this teleconference will be available on our website:  

    Please feel free to forward this announcement to your partners.

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    Communication Tips: "Good vs. Bad Crisis Communication"

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    Good vs. Bad Crisis Communication

    In a world where good battles evil on the news, in books, and through movies, it should be no surprise that these contrasts also exist in Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication (CERC). Rather than rescuing a damsel in distress, good communicators can empower entire communities to protect themselves. Bad communicators risk promoting harmful human behaviors that can increase injury, illness, and death.

    While the villain in fairytales is often intentionally malicious, bad communicators may simply be unaware that there is a better way to communicate in an emergency. Unfortunately, simple mistakes can cost the public’s trust, leading people away from public health recommendations and risking their safety. Fortunately, CERC provides a roadmap to improve communication during emergencies.

    Good communicators use CERC principles to get information to the people who need it most. In an emergency, CERC can help communicators learn what to say, when to say it, and how to say it. CERC is a way to talk to people during a crisis, to get them information they can understand and actually use. And the right message at the right time from the right person can save lives.

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    For more information, please visit our CERC website and refer to Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication, 2014 Edition or Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication Pandemic Influenza, 2007.

    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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    Community leaders: If you live in an area with Aedes, the mosquito that spreads Zika virus, build and share a Zika Prevention Kit today.

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    “CDC has developed effective, low-cost traps that can stop mosquitoes that spread diseases like Zika virus. We’ve developed new traps that are effective and actually can knock down the spread of diseases like Zika - by half - very simply, at a low cost.” – CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden on Zika virus, from his May 26, 2016 appearance at the The National Press Club.

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    #kNOwZika for NO Zika. Learn what actions you can take to stop the spread of #Zika: .

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         Zika-free 1-2-3:

        -Protect against mosquitoes.

        -Use condoms.

        -Learn more: . #BeZikaFree


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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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