The Pasadena Public Health Department advises residents to protect themselves against mosquitoes at home and abroad in light of the ongoing spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in 21 countries, including throughout Latin America, the Caribbean and Puerto Rico.
There have been no reported human cases of mosquito-borne diseases in Pasadena in 2016. However, increased rainfall during the El Niño season may create pockets of water around homes that can serve as attractive environments for mosquitoes to lay eggs.
The primary mode of disease transmission is through the bite of an infected mosquito. Humans who contract mosquito-borne viruses including Zika, West Nile, Chikungunya and Dengue fever may develop serious infections. Pasadena residents and especially pregnant women are urged to take the following precautions to help prevent mosquito breeding and bites:
• Eliminate all standing water sources outdoors
• Keep swimming pools clean
• Regularly check for mosquito larvae in still water sources such as in rain barrels, bird baths and ponds
• Wear repellants containing DEET
• Avoid areas likely to be inhabited by mosquitoes at dawn and dusk
• Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors
• Make sure your hotel or lodging has air conditioning
• Check window screens for holes
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommends that pregnant women consider postponing travel to areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission. This recommendation was issued following reports in Brazil of increased numbers of newborns suffering from microcephaly and fetal losses among mothers who were infected with the Zika virus while pregnant.
If you return from an affected region and experience fever with joint pain or rash within the two weeks following your return, please contact your medical provider and tell the doctor where you traveled.
For more info on mosquito-borne diseases, prevention tips and travel alerts, visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/features/StopMosquitoes.