Health Officials Share Advisory Information for Zika Virus 2016-02-11 HHSA & CDA

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 California.

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:

  • Drain standing water around property and keep water in swimming pools, ponds and troughs circulating or treated with “Mosquito Dunks”.
  • Apply insect repellent containing DEET on exposed skin when outdoors where mosquitoes could be present.
  • While outside among mosquitoes, dress in long sleeves and long pants.
  • Make sure doors and windows have tight fitting screens and are kept in good condition.

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 or the CDC’s website at