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The Civic Association received this Zika prevention letter today from Maggie Zeidman.

Dear Friends,

Maggie ZeidmanThe best way to protect yourselves and your family from the Zika virus is to prevent mosquito bites. The Aedes Aegypti mosquito’s natural habitat is here in Florida and in those states around the Gulf of Mexico. These mosquitoes are small day biters who need our blood to spawn healthy offspring.  The best way to ensure that mosquitoes will keep their distance from you and your loved ones is to use repellents.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approves, the use of four mosquito repellents: DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Eucalyptus, and IR 3535. Of these, the American Association of Pediatrics has found that DEET in a 10-30% concentration,  and Picaridin in a 5-10% concentration, are safe to use on children. DEET in concentrations up to 30%, Picaridin up to 10%, and IR 3535 up to 20%, are safe for pregnant women and nursing mothers. The higher the concentration, the longer the product is effective. The CDC recommends using the lowest, but effective, concentration and reapply as needed.

Special considerations:
• Apply repellents on exposed skin only.
• Never apply repellent over open cuts, wounds, or irritated skin.
• Repellents are not safe for babies under two months of age.
• Mosquito netting is available for strollers, cribs, and portable cribs. Check with the American Association of Pediatrics to determine product safety.
• Never let a child apply repellents; put repellent in your hands and apply to child.
• Do not apply repellents to hands, eye areas, or mouths of children.
• Apply sunscreen before repellents; combination sunscreen/repellents are not recommended because sunscreen must be reapplied more often than repellents.

Publix Repellent Display I especially want to thank Palm Beach Publix Store Manager, Andrew DeLong, and Assistant Manager, Andres Navarro, for creating a display of repellent products in the front of the store. I also wish to acknowledge a “best practice” initiated by the South Florida Science Museum under the direction of Lew Crampton, President and CEO. The museum has DEET spray available for patrons using the miniature golf course. Efforts such as these will help ensure that Zika does not get a foothold in our local community.

PREVENT MOSQUITO  BITES – USE REPELLENT and wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. And I would suggest socks…but, hey, this is Palm Beach…

I want to assure you that the Town of Palm Beach takes this situation very seriously. Along with other steps, the Town has partnered with the Palm Beach Civic Association and the Citizens’ Association of Palm Beach to identify how to best keep our residents safe. More information is available at townofpalmbeach.com and palmbeachcivic.org/news/zika-virus/.

Maggie Zeidman