Friday, August 5, 2016

Zika Virus in the News

You may have heard news reports about the Zika virus, which is generally transmitted by mosquito bites.

Per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, the virus has been identified in North and South America, Central America, American Samoa, and the Caribbean, which includes the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Symptoms of the Zika virus include fever, joint pain, muscle aches, rash and red eyes, also known as conjunctivitis. Most people will not experience symptoms. Those who do will experience only mild symptoms for a few days.

However, the illness has been linked to severe birth defects in women who contracted the Zika virus while pregnant. The CDC. has warned that all pregnant women and those trying to become pregnant should avoid exposure.
Pregnant women who reside in or are returning from travel to areas where Zika virus is present should follow up with their doctor.

Individuals who intend to travel to one of the affected areas and employees who work in these areas should take appropriate steps to avoid mosquito bites.
To reduce the chance of mosquito bites, here are some appropriate steps:  
  • Use EPA-approved insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants in areas prone to mosquitoes.
  • When camping or hiking, use permethrin-treated clothing and gear, such as boots, pants, socks and tents.
  • Empty standing water at your home and office.
Additional information can be found online at

These are general considerations. Everyone with questions or concerns should discuss them with their health care provider.

Safety is a core value for all Postal Service employees. Your safety — both on and off the job — is important to everyone at the Postal Service.

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