;;; ;;;; ;;;;; has been making headlines
for months, raising more questions than the
medical community can answer. But one thing
seems to be clear: There’s no reason to push
the panic button.
Zika has been around since the ;;;;s, with
symptoms including fever, aches, pains, headache and conjunctivitis. Named for a forest in
Uganda, Zika was first seen in Africa and the Pacific Islands. Then, in ;;;;, Zika’s presence was
confirmed in Brazil. It has since spread north to
Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean, carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, also known
to spread dengue and the chikungunya virus.
Experts confirm a northern path in the migration
of Aedes aegypti, and while it is more common
in Florida, along the Gulf Coast and in Hawaii,
it has been found in hot weather as far north as
Washington, D.C. The World Health Organization predicts it will continue the northerly path
Once contracted, the illness typically goes
away in one to two weeks; the likeli-
;;;;; ;;;;;;;, ;;; is an Emmy Award-winning anchor for Thirteen/ WNET (PBS) and NJTV (PBS) who regularly appears on the Today Show,
CNN, FOX News and on many New York-based radio stations.; His new book, Lessons in Leadership, o;ers lasting leadership strategies that all
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BY STEVE ADUBATO only in new jersey
Doctors say U.S. danger is
minimal—but awareness is key.
What can we do to
from the Zika virus?
;;. ;;;; ;;;;;, the
founder of the Leon
G. Smith Infectious
o;ers this advice:
• Use an insect repel-
lent with DEET.
• Stay inside with air-
conditioning on and
• Repair or replace
windows and doors.
• Camping out? Use a
Cover strollers or
baby carriers with
• Mosquitoes thrive
in standing water.
Clear roof gutters
and get rid of old
tires, empty urns,
open garbage cans,
or anything else
that can collect
water and become a
• If you are in a Zika-endemic area, wear
long sleeves, long
pants and wide-brimmed hats.
• Pregnant women or
women planning to
get pregnant should
avoid going into
hood of significant complica-
tions is low. The overwhelming
concern, however, is the impact
Zika can have on a developing
fetus. Yet data on such compli-
cations remain inconclusive. “We just don’t
know the likelihood of a Zika infection causing
a congenital malformation,” says Dr. Adam
Jarrett, executive vice president for medical
a;airs and chief medical o;cer at Holy Name
Medical Center in Teaneck. The feared con-
genital malformation is called microcephaly,
which Jarrett describes as “a small head and a
small brain.” He continues, “These kids are not
going to be normal, healthy kids. They are go-
ing to have significant congenital problems and
maybe even die at a very young age, depending
on the severity.”
At deadline, ;; cases of Zika had been iden-
tified in New Jersey, and one baby, a little girl,
had been born with Zika-related microceph-
aly. Her mother had apparently contracted
Zika in Honduras.
According to Jarrett, the odds are very low
for a pregnant woman to contract Zika in the
United States. “There’s not been a single case
in the United States of Zika that is not tied
back to someone who traveled to one of the
epidemic areas,” says Jarrett. “If you are trav-
eling outside the country to those epidemic
areas, there is concern.”
The Centers for Disease Control recom-
mends that pregnant women and women who
are considering getting pregnant avoid travel
to the a;ected areas at this time. The CDC
advises using its Travelers’ Health website
( wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel) for updates.
The good news if you are headed to the Jersey Shore this month is that Zika is not considered a threat at beach resorts. That’s because
beaches are generally too breezy for mosquitoes, and most hotels are air-conditioned, with
windows closed. In fact, there is likely more
danger of coming into contact with a mosquito
in your own backyard (see sidebar).
The bottom line is caution—and an
awareness of how the virus is transmitted.
Recently, it was learned that Zika can be
present in semen.
“If you’re going to be sexually active,” says
Jarrett, “and you’re concerned that your part-
ner has Zika, you need to be aware of that and
you need to be very careful.”
A scientist in
larvae for the