Zika in all but 4 U.S. States
There are currently three scenarios in which the Zika virus is spreading: areas where local mosquito transmission is occurring, areas that have the potential for having local mosquito transmission (have Aedes mosquitos & have or have had Zika infected people), and those areas where Zika transmission is very unlikely although travel-related infections may occur. The only states that do not have travel-related cases are Alaska, Idaho, Wyoming, and South Dakota.
First responders should continue to avoid mosquito breeding around the worksite, eliminating mosquito bites while at home or work, and to prevent and manage contact with potentially infectious body fluids. Zika is now known to be transmitted not only by mosquitos and from mother to baby , but through sexual transmission and needle stick or other exposure to infectious bodily fluids. The incubation period (the time from exposure to infection) appears to be a few days to a week. The infection period (and infectious period), through blood transmission, lasts for one to two weeks, with semen appearing to carry the virus the longest, lasting up to several months.
This outbreak is more widespread than previous Zika outbreaks and there are many unanswered questions including can other species of mosquitos carry and transmit the virus, are there other methods of transmission not yet identified, what body fluids/tissues are infectious and/or able to transmit the virus and for how long. Research continues into these questions and more. Each department or agency should have a process for keeping up-to-date with the latest pertinent information.
For a more complete Zika update and background details, Click Here.
Should EMS Data be Monitored for Zika Infection?
FirstWatch likes to provide surveillance and early warning for many different threats to our clients – that was, in fact, the initial reason for starting the company. So, it makes sense that the question would be asked by us, and perhaps by you, if Zika should be monitored through the data we capture for you. We have seriously contemplated it and will outline our rationale to not recommend doing so at this time. However, we would very much like to hear from you if you disagree with this decision – or, even if you agree.
To read our rationale, Click Here.