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Michiganders on spring break urged to take Zika precautions

James Gathany/PHIL-CDC
public domain

Health officials are warning Michiganders traveling to certain countries on spring break to bring plenty of 20% DEET mosquito repellent.

The CDC says there are outbreaks of Zika virus in many countries in the Carribean, Central and South America, and the Pacific Islands.

"People usually don't get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika," says Jennifer Eisner of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.  But she says Zika has been linked to a severe birth defect, microcephaly. 

"In fact, until more is known, the CDC is recommending that pregnant women should not travel to areas where the Zika virus is spreading," Eisner said.

Eisner says women who are planning to become pregnant should consult their physician before traveling to countries experiencing Zika outbreaks.

Male partners of those pregnant women also need to be aware of the risk.  The Zika virus can be transmitted sexually as well.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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