The Princeton Health Department is taking its fight against the emerging Zika virus to residents’ front doors in Princeton.
Princeton health officials will be distributing door hangers throughout town over the next few months. The hangers provide information on what residents can do to limit mosquito breeding in their yard, along with contact information for Mercer County Mosquito Control and the Princeton Health Department.
People can reduce the spread of Aedes mosquitoes by eliminating sites around their homes where mosquitoes may breed by getting rid of containers and any other sites where water may collect and mosquitoes lay their eggs. Back yard item such as bird baths, potted plants with saucers, children’s toys and roof gutters can be mosquito breeding grounds if not cleaned out and or if the water sits stagnant for several days.
Princeton Health Department also reminds travelers to protect themselves from mosquitoes during the outbreak of Zika virus disease. The outbreak is ongoing in the Caribbean, Central America, the Pacific Islands and South America. For an updated list, residents can visit the Centers for Disease Control travel notice page, http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-travel-information.
Zika is a reportable disease and local physicians are encouraged to contact the Princeton Health Department and or New Jersey Department of Health to report any possible Zika patients for further assessment.
“Zika is one of several mosquito-borne diseases that could affect residents this mosquito season through localized transmission,” said Jeffrey Grosser, health officer for Princeton. “Reducing or eliminating standing water around one’s home is the best way residents can combat mosquitoes. The Princeton Health Department is also urging residents to use approved EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] bug spray and wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants or clothing specially treated to avoid mosquito bites.”
Zika virus can cause severe birth defects, and is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. No localized transmission of Zika virus infection has occurred in Princeton or in any other state, but as of May 11, returning travelers have accounted for 12 cases in New Jersey and 503 in the U.S. Aedes mosquitos, the species of mosquito that can transmit Zika, are present in New Jersey.
For more information on the Zika virus visit:
• New Jersey Department of Health: http://www.nj.gov/health.
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): http://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html.
• CDC Travel Health Notices: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices.