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What You Need to Know about the Zika Virus

Summer officially arrived this week, bringing mosquito season along with it. Baltimore Housing is collaborating with the Baltimore City Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to raise awareness about the Zika virus.

The Zika virus is transmitted primarily by the “tiger” mosquito. These mosquitos bite during the day and night. Most people with Zika will not know they have it. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting several days to a week. The most common symptoms are mild fever, rash, joint aches and red eyes. In pregnant women, the Zika infection is linked to a birth defect in which a baby’s head is smaller than expected. There is no vaccine or treatment for the virus.

Mosquitos lay eggs in and near standing water. They only need the amount of water in a bottle cap to breed. So be sure to keep objects, such as buckets, bird baths, roof gutters, coolers, old tires, and trash containers clear of water to avoid mosquitos from breeding. If you see standing water in your neighborhood, eliminate it if possible or call 311 to report it.

The Baltimore City Health Department and CDC advises everyone to wear long-sleeved clothing when outside. Other precautions include: wearing insect repellants, keeping screens on all windows, repairing holes in screens, and keeping windows and doors shut if they don't have screens.

Anyone who lives in or travels to an area with Zika and has not already been infected with it can get the virus. When making your summer vacation plans, consider the risk of Zika. Click on the link below to learn more about Zika travel precautions.

For more information about the Zika virus, visit the Baltimore City Health Department’s website at health.baltimorecity.gov/zika-virus or the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/zika/.

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Related Links

Click here for the Baltimore City Health Department Website

Click here for the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Website

Learn more about Zika Travel Precautions