The World Health Organization has declared the Zika virus an international public health emergency, prompted by growing concern that it could cause birth defects such as unusually small heads and brain damage in newbornns. As many as four million people could be infected by the end of 2016. Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have urged pregnant women against travel to about two dozen countries, mostly in the Caribbean and Latin America, where the outbreak is growing.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that since no vaccine exists to prevent Zika virus disease, the best way to protect yourself is to avoid mosquito bites with insect repellent. Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus also spread dengue and chikungunya viruses.
Citizens need to be using insect repellent regularly:
Always follow the product label instructions.
Reapply insect repellent as directed.
Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing.
If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen before applying insect repellent.
Adults: Spray insect repellent onto your hands and then apply to a child’s face.
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