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Area health officials issue health and travel advisory regarding the Zika virus

Metro area health departments are urging travelers to take precautions to prevent Zika virus infection if they are going to areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. Health officials suggest travelers follow the CDC’s updated travel guidelines, which include a recommendation that pregnant women not travel to areas with active Zika virus transmission. Health care providers are also urged to counsel patients who are planning to travel to endemic areas about the prevention of mosquito bites and seek Zika virus testing for patients with Zika virus symptoms who have recently traveled to areas with Zika infection.

“This is an evolving situation,” said Rex Archer, MD, MPH, director of the Kansas City, Missouri, Health Department. “As we learn more about the Zika virus and how it is being transmitted, we recommend travelers prevent mosquito bites and stay informed through the CDC’s website and their local health departments.”

The best way to prevent Zika virus infection is to prevent mosquito bites. Those who are traveling to affected areas should apply sunscreen first and then repellent. Other prevention tips include:

  • Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants,
  • Using EPA-registered insect repellents,
  • Using permethrin-treated clothing,
  • Staying and sleeping in screened-in or air-conditioned rooms,
  • Avoiding or limiting outdoor activities during peak mosquito times.

Zika Fast Facts:

  • Zika is primarily spread through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito.
  • The best way to prevent Zika is to prevent mosquito bites.
  • Four out of five people infected with Zika don’t know they are infected. When people do get symptoms, many are not sick enough to seek medical care.
  • Zika can be sexually transmitted. Men with pregnant sex partners who have traveled to or lived in an area with Zika virus transmission should use condoms or abstain from sex for the duration of the pregnancy.
  • Zika infection during pregnancy may be linked to birth defects. Pregnant women should delay travel to areas where Zika is spreading.
  • See a health care provider if you develop a fever, rash, joint pain or conjunctivitis (red, watery eyes) during a trip or within two weeks after traveling to a place with Zika.

More Information:




Cass County, Mo.
Tiffany Klassen
(816) 380-8425

Clay County, Mo.
Aaron Smullin
(816) 595-4257
Cell (816) 200-3107

Independence, Mo.
Craig Brenner
(816) 325-7086

Jackson County, Mo.
Shane Kovac
(816) 404-3786

Johnson County, Kan.
Barbara Mitchell
(913) 477-8436

Kansas City, Mo.
Denesha Snell
(816) 719-3610

Leavenworth County, Kan.
Ashley Freeman
(913) 364-5779
Cell (913) 475-7855

Platte County, Mo.
Brandi Moritz
(816) 858-2412
Cell (816) 935-4001

Ray County, Mo.
Stacey Cox
(816) 776-5413

Unified Government of Wyandotte County, Kan.
Ron Starbuck
(913) 573-8869