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Everything you need to know about the zika virus in South Florida.

Why To Avoid Mosquito Bites, Even If You're Not Pregnant

Maybe you're not worried about Zika, but you can still protect others, say public health experts.

Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood may be celebrating this week’s lifting of the suspected Zika transmission map, but Dr. Tom Frieden of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging people in Miami-Dade County not to let their guards down.

In a statement released the same morning as the Wynwood announcement, Frieden wrote:

“Still, we encourage people not to let down their guard. We could see additional cases. People living in or visiting Miami-Dade County, particularly pregnant women, are encouraged to continue to take steps to prevent mosquito bites and to follow guidelines for preventing sexual transmission.”

After all, according to Dr. Aileen Marty with Florida International University, preventing mosquito bites is important even if you’re not pregnant:

“Anytime that you feed one of those female insects—and it’s always females in terms of mosquitoes that bite—they’re using that blood that they get from you in order to lay hundreds of eggs,” said Marty.

And preventing a mosquito from biting you might protect someone else.

“If, most unfortunately, you happen to already have been exposed to Zika and have Zika in your blood, then you’re preventing a mosquito from becoming infected and then infecting someone else who might be much more susceptible to a serious problem from the Zika virus,” said Marty.

For a lighter—and still very informational—take on the role of mosquito prevention and Zika, Marty pointed us to this infectious music video (pun completely intended):

Public radio. Public health. Public policy.
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