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We are Public Health

In celebration of National Public Health Week, we've released a new video series, "I Am Public Health." Made up of over 140 dedicated staff with very diverse roles, we all work toward the same goal of healthy people and healthy places. See Public Health in action. Go behind the scenes and see how 5 of our staff keep our community safe and well in their day-to-day work.

Travel Precautions to Prevent Zika

Public Health Madison & Dane County advises that anyone traveling to Zika affected areas should take the time to review current travel recommendations for Zika, and plan accordingly. The biggest threat is that Zika infection in pregnant women is known to cause severe birth defects. Pregnant women, or women trying to become pregnant, should not travel to a Zika-affected areas.

Zika, is transmitted by the bite of certain mosquitoes. If you are traveling to a Zika-affected area, it is important to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites, and practice safe sex to reduce the spread of the virus.

Precautions to prevent mosquito bites include: wearing protective clothing, using mosquito repellent and using mosquito nets. Precautions should be taken all day, as mosquitoes that can carry Zika are daytime biters.

Transmission of the Zika virus can also occur through unprotected sex with a Zika-infected person. Women returning from travel should use condoms and birth control for eight weeks and men returning should use condoms for six months to avoid spreading the virus. Women with a male partner who has traveled in the past six months should use birth control to avoid pregnancy. These guidelines apply regardless of whether the traveler has any symptoms.

Returning travelers with symptoms of illness should contact a healthcare provider to let them know when and where they traveled and discuss testing.

For more information about PHMDC efforts to manage Zika, visit PHMDC's Zika Virus page.