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    Health to hold Zika town hall meeting for its employees to reinforce prevention measures

    Zika Awareness Week activities across the state to run April 24-30


    Baltimore, MD (April 14, 2016) – The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will hold a Zika awareness town hall meeting for its employees in its 201 W. Preston Street building’s lobby on Wednesday, April 20, 2016, at 11 a.m.  

    “The Zika virus – though a virus whose symptoms tend to be mild and whose infections generally pass from a person in about seven days – remains a serious public health concern because it causes birth defects and can be sexually transmitted,” said Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary Van T. Mitchell. “We want to make sure the general public remains well-informed on steps to take to minimize chances of infection, and that starts with our employees.”  

    Zika Awareness Week will run April 24-30. The State’s efforts to raise awareness about the virus and about prevention will extend to local communities through Health and Mental Hygiene’s partnerships with local health departments, which will be scheduling activities in their respective communities.  

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have stated – because transmission has chiefly occurred through the bite of the aedes aegypti mosquito – that preventing mosquito bites is the best way to prevent infection. The CDC also has confirmed that people who have traveled to countries where the virus is actively transmitted (the Caribbean, Central American and South American countries) should abstain from unprotected sexual activity, especially if their partner is a woman who is pregnant or who could become pregnant. For more information on prevention steps, visit the CDC at http://goo.gl/mzPHVy 

    “This is the kind of information we will be reiterating at our town hall meeting. It is imperative that Marylanders are armed with accurate information from the CDC – particularly as temperatures warm and mosquito season begins,” said Health and Mental Hygiene Deputy Secretary of Public Health Services Dr. Howard Haft.  

    As of today, Maryland has had eight confirmed cases of Zika virus infection. All have been related to travel from areas of ongoing transmission; none have involved local transmission. The department keeps a record of confirmed cases on our website: http://goo.gl/oAqPF6. For more information about the Zika virus, visit the CDC at http://www.cdc.gov/zika/ 



    The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is the state government agency that protects Maryland’s public health. We work together to promote and improve the health and safety of all Marylanders through disease prevention, access to care, quality management, and community engagement. Stay connected:  www.twitter.com/MarylandDHMH  andwww.facebook.com/MarylandDHMH. ​