Palm Beach State College is monitoring the status of the Zika virus in Florida. In an effort to help the College community understand the Zika virus and take appropriate steps to prevent its spread, the College is providing the following information.
Only about 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus exhibit symptoms. Zika fever is a mild illness. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon. Signs and symptoms of Zika fever may include:
- acute onset of low-grade fever
- joint pain
- conjunctivitis (reddening of eye)
- body aches
- eye pain
The illness typically resolves within a week.
However, Zika infection during pregnancy has been linked to microcephaly, a serious birth defect in which babies are born with an unusually small head and underdeveloped brain. Zika infection during pregnancy can also cause other problems in infants, including eye defects, hearing loss, and impaired growth.
Zika virus infections are primarily transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito, from mother to child during pregnancy or around the time of birth, or through unprotected sex with an infected person. In order to reduce the possibility of transmission via blood transfusions, the FDA has recommended blood collection centers located in areas with locally transmitted cases cease collecting blood, screen donations for Zika virus or implement pathogen inactivation technologies.
Avoid mosquito bites – mosquitoes are most active during the first few and last few hours of daylight around dawn and dusk.
- Wear protective clothing such as long pants, long sleeved shirts, socks and shoes when mosquitoes are present.
- Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered insect repellents and follow manufacturer’s directions.
- Repair torn screening on windows, porches and doors.
- Eliminate standing water to reduce mosquito breeding opportunities.
Pregnant women, or those considering pregnancy, are strongly encouraged to review the CDC Zika Virus Information for Pregnant Women web site and avoid unprotected sex.
- The proper use of condoms prevents transmission.
- Other forms of birth control do not protect against transmission, but will prevent an unwanted pregnancy and the possibility of serious birth defects.
Zika Information Resources
Florida Zika Virus Information Hotline: 1-855-622-6735
Florida Department of Health
Centers for Disease Control
Zika Prevention Kit for Pregnant Women
Florida College System Flyer
Palm Beach DOH Mosquito Protection Flyer
CDC Zika Basics Posters