Maplewood Health Dept Posts Tips on Preventing Spread of Zika Virus

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From the Maplewood Health Department:

Zika Virus Information

The recent unpredictable spread of the Zika Virus has the health and healthcare community on alert for how to prevent the spread of Zika Virus.  As information is always changing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website is a good place to check for the latest information:  Here are some important facts as per the CDC:

  • Zika virus disease (Zika) is a disease caused by Zika virus that is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito.
  • The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes).
  • The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.
  • Zika virus is transmitted to people mainly through the bite of infected Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquito or through sexual transmission or maternal-fetal transmission.
  • The assumption is that pregnant women represent a highly vulnerable population as Zika Virus infection in pregnant women has been associated with birth defects and adverse pregnancy outcomes, with growing evidence for a causal link as public health entities continue to monitor cases.
  • If you are of childbearing age, whether male or female, please consider your travel itinerary to avoid areas that have mosquitoes that may be infected with Zika Virus. Refer to the CDC website for an updated list of countries currently monitored for Zika Virus:

What can residents do to prevent mosquito breeding sites?
Residents can help to eliminate mosquito breeding sites by starting community cleanup campaigns (having tires removed off premises as water can collect in the rims of old tires, trash pickup around homes, and removal and cleaning of small and large containers which may also collect stagnant water).

Maplewood’s close proximity to the South Mountain Reservation and other local parks allow residents the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors however it also puts residents at risk for acquiring tickborne diseases like Lyme Disease, Erlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Babesiosis.

The New Jersey Department of Health developed a brochure, ‘Tick-Borne Diseases’ and provides information on how to prevent tickborne infections and how to remove a tick if found on your skin.

Did you know that ticks are most active during the months of May, June and July? As we move into the warmer months, please take note of how to properly dress when you are enjoying the outdoor woods and enjoy a tick-free season.

If you are going to be in areas that may be tick infested, there are several ways you can protect yourself.

  • Wear light colored clothing so ticks can be spotted more easily, and removed before attachment
  • Wearing long sleeved shirts and pants tucked into socks or boot tops can be helpful in keeping ticks from reaching your skin
  • Ticks are usually located close to the ground, so boots or shoes and not sandals, are recommended
  • Applying insect repellants such as DEET (n,n-diethyl-m toluamide) to clothes and exposed skin, and applying Permethrin (which kills ticks on contact) to clothes can reduce the risk of tick attachment
  • DEET can be used safely on children and adults, but should be applied according to label guidelines.

Information adapted from CDC bulletin – Lyme Disease Prevention and Control – and Emerging Disease website.


Upcoming health programs can be found on the Township’s website: under “Health” and “Community Health Care Resources”. Upcoming programs include:

  • Mental health and wellness: “Caregiver Overload” lecture at Maplewood Memorial Library, presented by Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Monday, April 18th, 7 pm.
  • Diabetes: “Sweet Talk” Diabetes Prevention and Management Lecture Series at University Hospital
  • Cancer Prevention: Free Skin Cancer Screenings and Breast and Cervical Cancer Screenings
  • Healthcare clinics available for residents and families
  • Free Township Adult Health Clinic schedule at Town Hall and at the Maplewood Library locations, held two times a month.

Maplewood Health Department
574 Valley Street – (973) 762-8120
Maplewood, New Jersey 07040

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