To Baltimore County Community Associations:
Please accept this email as an official invitation to join the Baltimore County Department of Health’s (BCDH) efforts to educate the public about Zika virus. Zika virus causes Zika disease, which is a mild illness lasting no more than a week. Only about 1 in 5 people infected with the virus will develop symptoms. The virus is primarily spread by mosquitoes, though it can also be spread through sexual transmission, blood transfusions, and from mother-to-fetus.
Although much is still unknown about Zika virus, every day new information is being learned. You can stay up-to-date on Zika-related news, travel recommendations, case counts, guidance, and prevention measures by visiting the following websites:
· Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
· Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
· Maryland Department of Agriculture
· Baltimore County Department of Health
As of June 9, 2016, there have been no cases of Zika virus in the continental U.S. spread by local mosquitoes; however, Maryland has both of the mosquito species, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, which can carry the virus. It is possible, that in the future, our local mosquitoes in Maryland may become infected with the virus and spread it to our residents. Regardless of travel history, all Baltimore County residents, should take steps to protect themselves from local mosquito bites and help reduce the county’s mosquito populations.
Attached, please find our Zap Zika flyer and information about our next Zika Community Chat scheduled for June 28. If you would like additional copies, printable versions can be found on the Baltimore County Government website (www.baltimorecountymd.gov/zika) or you can receive the electronic file by sending an email to email@example.com.
In addition to raising awareness about Zika virus, BCDH is enhancing its already existing mosquito control program to address Zika virus. The program partners with Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) to conduct spraying in communities that have requested it, and to conduct spraying in communities that meet certain mosquito and/or virus detection-related criteria. For more information on community spraying and to see notices for when unscheduled spray activities will take place, visit MDA’s website.
Should you or someone you know have questions about testing for Zika virus or if your community association is interested in having a Department of Health representative give an educational presentation about Zika virus, call 410-887-6011. To report standing or stagnant water complaints, call the Department’s Environmental Health Services Office at 410-887-3663.
Thank you in advance for joining our efforts to educate residents about Zika and for helping to make Baltimore County a healthier place for people to live, work and play.
Gregory Wm. Branch, M.D., MBA, CPE, FACP
Director, Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services