NC county offers Zika pregnancy prevention kits for moms to-be

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WFMY) — Mosquitoes and other bugs are out in big numbers this spring and Forsyth County wants everyone to have all the measures and resources in place to prevent mosquito-borne diseases.

In Forsyth County, expecting moms can pick up a Zika Pregnancy Prevention kit starting Wednesday. Kits are available at the Dental Center, WIC, Family Planning Clinic, Downtown Health Plaza, and to clients in the Pregnancy Care Management Program. The kits include mosquito repellent, condoms, mosquito dunks to treat standing water and fact sheets from the Center for Disease Control about Zika and how to prevent mosquito bites.

Mosquitoes can carry a variety of diseases including: Zika, West Nile Virus, Chikungunya, Dengue and Eastern Equine and Lacrosse Encephalitis.

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So far, the CDC has only reported local transmission of Zika in two places in the United States: South Florida and South Texas.

The Forsyth County Department of Public Health has some basic tips for reducing exposure to mosquitoes as well as ticks:

  • Reduce mosquito breeding opportunities by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires and birdbaths at least weekly.
  • Be sure to tightly secure screens on all openings on rain barrels used for water conservation.
  • Clean up any trash or leaves that may be around your home or in rain gutters.
  • Avoid tick habitats, which include wooded, grassy or brushy areas.
  • Use tick and mosquito repellent that contains DEET (or equivalent) on exposed skin and wear clothing treated with permethrin, a synthetic insecticide used against disease-carrying insects.
  • If you find a tick attached to your body, carefully remove it by grasping the tick with fine-tipped tweezers as close as possible to your skin and apply a steady gentle pull until it releases.
  • Reduce tick habitats on your property by mowing frequently and keeping your yard clear of old furniture and debris.
  • Mosquito-proof your home by installing or repairing screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside, and use air conditioning if you have it.

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