Montgomery County working with Municipalities on the threat of the Zika Virus
From Ron Hardy, the City of Takoma Park’s Emergency Preparedness Manager:
With the start of mosquito season only a few weeks away and the nationwide concern about the spread of the Zika virus, Takoma Park has been working with Montgomery County, the District of Columbia, and other municipalities to develop strategies to combat its potential spread in our area. In my role as Emergency Preparedness Manager I’d like to share with you how Takoma Park is involved in the regional response to the Zika virus.
About Zika Virus Disease
Zika virus disease (Zika) is a disease caused by the Zika virus that is most commonly spread to people through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.
About Takoma Park’s Response to Zika
On April 6, 2016, I represented the City at a meeting hosted by Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (OEMHS) to discuss the best methods to keep residents informed on the dangers of the Zika virus. Representatives from the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services as well as other departments discussed best practices for protecting yourself and your family, how to report potential breeding sites you may become aware of and what agencies will be able to do to assist communities. The creation of a website dedicated to keeping residents in the county informed is under development with input from both county departments and municipalities like Takoma Park.
The website is expected to go live on May 1, 2016. The website will include links to other state and federal agencies which residents can go to get the latest information on the Zika virus and mosquito control in our area. Once the website is up a link will be featured prominently here on takomparkmd.gov.
For more information now about the Zika virus and protections go to the Zika Virus section of the CDC’s website.