By: R. Michael Brown, Civic Association Communications Director -- The Town of Palm Beach held a Community Forum on the Zika virus today in the Council Chambers at Town Hall. The meeting was well attended by residents, property managers, landscape and pest control service personnel, and the press.
Since the forum's goal was to get the word out about the facts and current situation in Florida it was a great success with all three local TV stations and the Post and Daily News covering.
The forum was sponsored by the Civic Association and Citizens' Association with presenters: Maggie Zeidman, Town Council Member; Jay Boodheshwar, Deputy Town Manager; Gary Goode, Palm Beach County Environmental Program Supervisor; David Paladino, Native Pest Management; and Dr. Robert Jacobson.
Here's what we know today:
Zika Virus Facts
- Mosquito-Borne Virus
- 2 Carriers: Aedes Aegypti and Aedes Albopictus
- Both live in our climate
- Day biters
- Aedes Aegypti is the more common transmission mosquito because they prefer to feed on people
- They are called "container mosquitos" becasue they breed in small water containers like planters, bottle caps (and soda/beer cans), and leaves that collect water into small pools
- No treatment
- No vaccine
- Only 20% of those infected have symptoms
- Can be sexually transmitted by a human host both male to female and female to male
- Can cause microcephaly, blindness, deafness, and mentally-challenged children
- Once bitten by a Zika carrying mosquito, current research shows that the virus will clear the body (host) within three weeks. However, the virus can survive in male semen for up to 3 months. Antibodies should be produced and an immunity should protect a person from contracting the virus in the future.
Education of the public is THE most important component of Zika prevention. We must all work together to prevent bites and control mosquitos.
Prevention is a personal and a governmental responsibility.
What can you do?
- Prevent Mosquito Bites
- Survey Your Surroundings: Drain and Cover
- Remove Objects That Collect Water
- Repair Screens
- Air Conditioning – Use It
- Get water out of Bromeliads or remove the plants
- Safe Sexual Practices
- Long Sleeves, Long Pants, Ankles Covered
- Light Clothing
- Hand Washing
- Be Vigilant, Help Your Neighbors
- Interior And Exterior Spraying
- Mosquito Netting – Strollers And Car Seats
- Plants and Critters That May Keep Mosquitoes Away
DEET Up To 30%
Picaridin [Cutter Advanced, Skin-So-Soft, Bug Guard]
Oil Of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE) [Repel]
IR 3535 [Skin-So-Soft, Skin Smart]
Permethrin Insecticide – Spray On Clothing, Not On Skin!
Event Video [1 hour, 30 min.]
Stay tuned for news, video, and press on Thursday.
As Regional Cases Rise, Palm Beach Pushes Zika Awareness
Read More (Palm Beach Daily News)
Palm Beach Leaders Hold Zika Forum
See More (WPTV-NBC5)
Town of Palm Beach Tackles Zika
Read More (CBS12)