El Dorado County Health officials are currently
monitoring information and guidance from the California Department of Public
Health (CDPH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding
the Zika virus. While the risks associated with the virus are currently low in
California, health officials recommend that individuals (particularly pregnant
women) check and follow CDC travel advisories before going to countries with Zika
virus outbreaks and also protect themselves from mosquito bites.
Between 2013 and 2016, only a handful of Zika virus cases have
been reported among California residents, all of whom acquired the virus during
travel to other countries with Zika virus outbreaks. To date, there has been no known transmission of the Zika virus within
According to the CDC, the following countries and regions have
been affected by ongoing transmission of the Zika virus: American Samoa, Brazil,
Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti,
Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela
and Puerto Rico. Travelers returning
from these areas should let their doctors know if they develop fever or other
symptoms of Zika.
The Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected
Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquito; transmission may also be possible
through sexual contact with an infected person. The mosquitoes that can carry
the Zika virus are not native to California, but have been identified in
several California counties. To date, these mosquitoes have not been detected
in El Dorado County or the surrounding area.
Most people who get Zika do not develop symptoms and the illness
is mild. If symptoms develop, the most common are fever, rash, joint pain
and/or red eyes. Symptoms usually begin 3-7 days after a person is bitten by an
infected mosquito and last several days to a week. Most of those who experience
symptoms fully recover with supportive care, such as bed rest and fluids. Scientists
and health authorities are investigating the possible connection between Zika
virus infection and birth defects in unborn babies.
The best way to prevent Zika, as well as other diseases spread by
mosquitoes (such as West Nile virus), is to prevent mosquito bites. To reduce
the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes, the following is recommended:
For more information about ways to control mosquitoes in El Dorado
County, contact the El Dorado County Environmental Management Division at (530)
621-5300 in Placerville or (530) 573-3450 in South Lake Tahoe.
The CDPH and CDC are regularly providing updated information
regarding the Zika virus, including updated travel advisories and guidance for
pregnant women and health care providers, as well as updates on the numbers of
cases. For the latest information, visit the CDPH’s website at www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discond/Pages/Zika.aspx
or the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html.