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North Carolina Hospital Association

Serving North Carolina Hospitals & Health Systems

Zika Virus Information and Resources

North Carolina hospitals and health systems work closely with local and state health departments to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone in our communities. That includes providing accurate, timely information and resources to the public to help fight infectious diseases and respond to emergencies. NCHA members are encouraged to use the following resources to inform their communities about prevention and what to watch for. Look for continued updates on this page.

Message from NC Department of Health and Human Resources:

State health officials continue to encourage North Carolinians to take preventive measures against mosquito bites and to stay informed of the risk of Zika virus infection before traveling to areas with local, active transmission, now including Miami, Fla.

On Aug. 1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued travel, testing and other recommendations for people who traveled to or lived in a Miami, Fla. neighborhood after June 2016, when health officials discovered local transmission of the virus by mosquitoes.

Zika virus is primarily transmitted through the bite of an infectious Aedes aegypti mosquito. This mosquito, to date, has not been identified in North Carolina, according to a statewide survey of mosquito populations being conducted in conjunction with researchers at East Carolina University, North Carolina State University, Western Carolina University and experts at local health departments. Currently, 33 travel-related cases of Zika virus have been confirmed in North Carolina.

Symptoms of Zika virus include rash and red eyes. Less common symptoms include fever, joint pains and muscle aches. Only about one in five people infected with Zika virus will show symptoms. Sexual transmission of Zika virus is possible, and is of particular concern during pregnancy.

A pregnant woman infected with Zika virus can pass the virus to her unborn baby. A serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly, and other adverse pregnancy outcomes have been reported in some mothers who were infected with Zika virus while pregnant. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a travel advisory recommending pregnant women consider postponing travel to any area with active Zika virus transmission. Women who are trying to become pregnant should talk to their doctors about the risk of Zika virus infection before traveling.

While the primary mosquitoes that carry Zika virus are not believed to be widespread in North Carolina, individuals are always encouraged, as a routine precaution, to take steps to prevent mosquito bites by:

  • Wearing insect repellent registered with the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants.
  • Using air conditioning or make sure window and door screens are in place.

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