On July 29, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the first cases of Zika virus infections in the continental U.S. that were likely caused by mosquito bites in Miami, Florida. While more cases of Zika have been confirmed to date in the U.S., all have been related to travel to Central and South America, or sexual contact with an infected traveller. Taking simple actions now can help protect children and prevent the disease from spreading.
Who's At Risk
Although anyone can contract the virus, the greatest threat is to unborn babies. Medical professionals strongly suspect that there is a link between microcephaly and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies and Zika infection in their mothers whilst pregnant. The number of those at risk increases in correlation with the population of Aedes mosquitos. Countries in South and Central America with tropical climates are currently in their dry season: as they enter the rainy season there is likely to be an increase in the size of mosquito populations, which may raise the overall risk of Zika virus.
What Save the Children is Doing
In the United States, Save the Children is working through its programs and partners to educate children and families in some of the most under-served and isolated communities about Zika, and how to protect themselves. This includes the 200 schools across 20 states we partner with to improve children’s literacy, our early childhood development programs, Head Start centers, and through our Get Ready Get Safe emergency preparedness program.
Resources & Tools
As a parent or caregiver, there are simple things you can do to help protect the children in your care from Zika. Learn more about Zika prevention with these resources from our trusted partners:
For Care Providers/Schools