What to Know About Zika

Posted by on Jul 18, 2017

The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) says preventing tick and mosquito bites is more crucial this summer than ever due to concerns related to Zika virus disease. In most cases, Zika is spread when a mosquito bites an infected person and then moves on to bite someone else. While symptoms are mild for most people, the virus can cause the birth defect microcephaly if a mother is infected while pregnant. Currently, there’s no vaccine available to prevent Zika, and no medicine to cure it. Although transmission of Zika via mosquitoes hasn’t yet occurred in Tennessee, the TDH suggests protecting yourself and family members by using EPA-registered insect repellents that contain at least 20 percent DEET (products include Cutter Backwoods and Off! Deep Woods). Never use repellents on babies younger than two months. For more information, go to “Using Repellent Products to Protect against Mosquito-Borne Illnesses” provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.