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Zika 2016: Delaware's cases, prevention efforts

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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Delaware saw its first case of the Zika virus in February of this year and the state ends 2016 with 17 confirmed cases and no known vaccine.

 

Zika only struck Delaware once last March, while 13 cases surfaced between June and September. The other three cases were dispersed between October and December.

 

In August, the state received about $810,00 in federal funding to create a Zika action plan. The money is being used for education and lab testing.

 

Additionally, the Blood Bank of Delmarva began testing donated blood for signs of Zika, and most doctors now ask their patients if they have traveled to any mosquito-infested regions recently.

 

But since there is no available vaccine, State Epidemiologist Jennifer Zambri said the state can expect the virus to continue to plague Delawareans over the next year.

 

“So people still need to practice preventative measures not only here during mosquito season, but when they’re traveling as well,” Zambri said.

 

Some of those preventative measures, Zambri said, include using bug spray and wearing long sleeves in mosquito-infested areas.

 

One of the state’s goals for the upcoming year is community outreach.

 

“We try to give as much information as we can to people,” Zambri said. “And also just make people aware if they’re unsure of what to do in any situation - they can consult public health, they can see their healthcare provider, so it’s just important to be aware of the evolving events as they come along.”

The state will continue to update residents about Zika over the next year.

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