Want to know how to protect yourself from Zika virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses?
1. "Tip & Toss" or "Drain & Cover" - Prevent or Reduce Mosquitoes around Your Property.
- Mosquitoes must have stagnant (standing) water to breed. Eggs can develop in something as small as a bottle cap of water.
- By eliminating stagnant water sources, you reduce the number of mosquitoes that could carry illness.
- Pick up and dispose of any trash or unwanted containers that could hold water.
- For containers you want to keep, insure that the water is emptied & scrubbed out once weekly (eg, bird baths, flower pot trays, pet bowls, etc).
- For water you cannot "tip" or "drain," keep it covered or use commercially bought mosquito "dunks" (dissolving larvicide). Follow the directions.
- For nuisance sources such as abandoned swimming pools, overgrown yards, illegal dumps, or abandoned tires, call our Environmental Health & Safety Board at 209-8110 (for unincorporated areas of Hamilton County ONLY, City of Chattanooga call 311, or other municipalities call your City Hall).
2. "Fight the Bite" - Prevent or Reduce Your Chances of Being Bitten by Mosquitoes.
- Protect yourself from being bitten by mosquitoes by using EPA-approved insect repellents.
- Keep skin covered with long sleeves and pants, hats, and closed-toed shoes, especially when going to high density mosquito areas (dense vegetation, swampy, low areas, etc.).
- When using insect repellent and sunscreen, apply sunscreen first, then the repellent.
- Always follow repellent label directions before using on infants and children. Use no more than 30% DEET on children. Do not use insect repellent containing oil of lemon eucalyptus as the active ingredient on children or infants younger than 3 years. Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months of age.
- Treat clothing and gear with permethrin. Follow the directions. Do not apply directly to skin or pets.
- Keep mosquitoes out of your home. Use air conditioning if possible, but if you can't, insure screens are in good order and that windows and doors shut, and use mosquito nets over beds during sleep.
3. Protect Pregnant Women & Avoid Travel to Zika Affected Areas:
- Click here for a list of Zika affected locations. If you must travel to one of these areas, use the precautions above.
- When you return, if you develop symptoms such as fever, rash, conjunctivitis (red eyes), and joint pain, contact a medical provider as soon as possible. Let the provider know you have recently traveled.
- Know that the Zika virus can be transmitted through sexual fluids. Take precautions when having sex after returning from, or having sex with someone who returns from, an affected location, whether you or they have any symptoms or not.
- Know that the Zika virus infection in pregnant women has been associated with poor birth outcomes, particularly microcephaly.
4. Our Knowledge of Zika Virus is Evolving, Visit the Resources below for Current Information:
- At the current time, there is no evidence that our local mosquito population in Hamilton County carries the Zika virus.
- By following these guidelines we can prevent the virus from entering our local mosquito population.
- The only known cases of Zika virus in our county have been travel-related cases.
- There is no vaccine or treatment (except supportive care).
- The need for hospitalization is rare, death from Zika virus infection is very rare.