This e-mail is being sent as part of a temporary series of messages to deliver Zika-related information during peak mosquito season in Indian Country. 
July 14, 2017
ZIkaMythZika Myth of the Week
Myth: I need to avoid hugging or shaking hands so I don't catch Zika. I also encourage people to cover their cough or sneeze so I don't breathe in Zika germs and get sick. 

This is a myth and is not correct!

Truth: Zika is NOT transmitted by casual contact like hugging or shaking hands. You also CANNOT catch Zika virus through the air (although covering a cough or sneeze is still important to protect against other illnesses, such as flu).

Zika may be present in certain fluids from your body, including blood and semen. This is why Zika can be passed through sexual activity (although use of a condom can reduce this risk). It is likely that Zika can also be transmitted through blood transfusion.

However, the most common way to get Zika is through mosquito bites. If a person has recently returned from an area with Zika virus, he or she could be infected with Zika even without symptoms. If a mosquito bites the returned (infected) traveler, that mosquito could become infected and could spread the virus to someone else. It is important to use insect repellents and take other steps to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites, but Zika cannot be spread through casual contact such as shaking hands or hugging.  

You can learn more about ways of Zika can be transmitted and how to stay safe HERE
Zika 101Zika101

Have questions about Zika? CDC has created an informative Zika 101 PowerPoint which is  available for viewing  HERE
NIHB Resources
Learn more about Tribal Zika Response and Planning at the NIHB Zika Hub

NIHB main website can be accessed HERE

Have questions? Need assistance? Click here to email NIHB staff 
In This Newsletter
Zika 101

Zika Myth of the Week
-Can Zika be spread by hugging, sneezing, or shaking hands? (sidebar)

Zika Information


Zika News

Funding Opportunity

Webinars, Trainings, Events
-Sexual transmission of Zika webinar recording now available -TRAIN Learning Network, powered by the Public Health Foundation
-CDC Zika training for healthcare providers

Zika Information

WhatIsMicroWhat is Microcephaly?

Image courtesy of the CDC

Microcephaly is a birth defect that can be caused by Zika virus. If a pregnant woman is infected by Zika virus, she can pass the virus to her fetus. Although Zika is generally very mild in adults, a fetus infected with Zika can be born with Congenital Zika Syndrome. This can cause serious health conditions including severe microcephaly. 

Babies with microcephaly have abnormally small heads; severe microcephaly is a more extreme version of the condition. Babies with Congenital Zika Syndrome may have d ecreased brain tissue, brain damage, and other serious problems. 

Because microcephaly is so devastating, it is especially important to prevent Zika virus if you or your partner is pregnant or may become pregnant. 

Learn more about Congenital Zika Syndrome  HERE and microcephaly in general  HERE

Learn more about preventing Zika  HERE and check out the National Indian Health Board Zika hub  HERE
PreventingMBitesPreventing Mosquito Bites

Image courtesy of the CDC

Preventing mosquito bites is the best way for most people and their communities to prevent Zika virus. How can you prevent mosquito bites? Remember the following: 
  • Mosquitoes that carry Zika virus can bite day or night.
  • Use an appropriate insect repellent and always follow the instructions carefully. Repellents that protect against Zika are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). You can learn more about effective insect repellents and find a repellent that is right for you at EPA website HERE. Effective repellents should include one of the following ingredients: 
     Image courtesy of the CDC
  • Wear clothing that will protect you from mosquitoes. This includes long shirts and long pants. For even more effective protection, you can treat your clothing with permethrin. More information about permethrin is available HERE
  • Prevent mosquitoes from entering your home by using screens and air conditioning whenever possible. Make sure that you empty or treat any standing water near your home, because mosquitoes breed in this water. There is more information about controlling mosquitoes in and around your home available HERE 
TeachingChildrenTeaching Children About Mosquitoes
CDC has published an activity book for US children about preventing mosquito bites. The booklet uses a variety of activities including coloring, questions, and games to help educate kids about why and how to avoid mosquito bites. Preventing Zika is a community effort. It may be helpful to teach children about actions they can take, such as closing doors and windows without screens, or helping them understand why it's important to wear bug spray. 

Full activity book can be found  HERE
Image and document courtesy of the CDC

Additional information about talking to your children about Zika is available HERE
mosquitohuntAttention Arizona Tribes! Join the Great Arizona Mosquito Hunt

The Great Arizona Mosquito Hunt will take place August-September of this year. The Hunt is a partnership between the Arizona Department of Health Services, the University of Arizona, Maricopa County Department of Public Health, and other local public health departments. High schools and other youth groups across the state will have the opportunity to learn about emerging mosquito-borne diseases and mosquito biology. Students will also provide valuable public health data by collecting mosquito eggs to determine the presence of
A. aegypti, and this data will be used to create a map to help public health officials keep Arizonans safe from mosquito-borne diseases like Zika. This is also an opportunity for youth to learn about diseases carried by mosquitoes, mosquito biology, and disease risks in Arizona.  The website states that project is intended for Arizona educators, youth organization leaders and students in grades 9-12, but other interested grades are welcome to participate.
Le arn more or register HERE
Zika News
MouseStudyMouse Study Finds Malaria Medication Can Help Reduce Zika Virus Transmission in Pregnant Mice
The Journal of Experimental Medicine published a study this week by researchers at the  Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The study findings provide additional information about how Zika virus works in the body and suggest a possible future treatment to prevent pregnant women from passing Zika to their fetuses. 

Autophagy is a process which happens in the cells in your body - it is like a cell's garbage disposal and it grinds up invading bacteria and other unwanted materials.  Autophagy can normally stop a disease from crossing to the fetus, but surprisingly, autophagy actually helps Zika. Zika virus can take advantage of the body's natural defense mechanism and can not only survive, but can further infect a fetus.  A malaria medication,  hydroxychloroquine, prevents autophagy. The study worked with pregnant mice who were infected with Zika but treated with this medication, and found that the mice who were treated had less Zika virus in the fetus and placenta, although the adult pregnant mice had the same amount of Zika virus in their bodies as the untreated mice. This means that the medicine helped protect the fetus even though the mother had Zika. These placentas had less damage after treatment and fetuses returned to normal growth. This suggests that using  hydroxychloroquine during pregnancy may be effective at reducing fetal disease, which means that this medication (normally used for malaria) could help protect human babies in the future. However, more research is needed to determine effectiveness and safety of long-term use in pregnant human women. There is still no medication approved to treat Zika.

Read more about this study from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis website HERE and r ead the original study (in depth) published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine  HERE

mousestudy2Experimental Vaccine May Prevent Transmission of Zika Virus for Mice During Pregnancy 
Another study published this week tested an experimental (trial) Zika vaccine on mice. Female mice were given the experimental vaccine, and as a result, the mice's immune systems made antibodies against Zika . Antibodies are proteins that fight against diseases like bacteria and viruses. Next, the mice became pregnant and scientists became infected with Zika virus. The study found that most of the mice who received the vaccine had healthier tissues and babies who were unharmed by Zika virus. This study could help lead to the future development of a Zika vaccine for humans. However, there is no vaccine available at this time. 

The study was published in Cell and various scientists and researchers worked on this project. Read a description of the study at the National Institutes of Health website  HERE or check out the published article at Cell  HERE

sciencenewsScience in the news - did you know? 
Although the media sometimes uses catchy and exciting titles to grab your attention, science is a process and there is generally extensive peer-review, repetition, and testing required to ensure that a treatment is safe and effective. Scientists don't call mainstream media to immediately report their research results; good, credible research is published first in academic or scientific journals and typically uses language like "research shows that the treatment may help" or "this study  suggests... " This is because of how science and math work - one person or group doing a study is not enough to prove that a treatment works, or even that the research was done well and is correct. Understanding this is important because it can help you better understand the true facts and weed out misinformation. Always think critically and ask questions when you read, consider the source, and try to look at the original research article if possible (though sometimes these can be difficult to understand). 
Funding Opportunity
The National Indian Health Board presents Tribal Zika Response and Planning Mini Awards: Announcement of Request for Applications
The National Indian Health Board (NIHB), with support from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is pleased to announce a call for applications for a Tribal Zika Response and Planning award. Designed to enhance the capacity of Tribes, this funding will provide awards up to $5,000 to ten (10) Tribes to support efforts to prepare for the possibility of Zika transmission in Tribal communities. Applicants will select one or two (1-2) activities from the list of high impact activities which includes capacity building on topics such as: Zika preparedness planning, vector control, risk communication, partnership building, and stakeholder engagement.

Zika concerns multiple stakeholders within Tribal systems - along with other public health allies from state and local health departments - including emergency management, environmental health, and public health, as well as arenas within healthcare systems such as maternal child health, behavioral health, community health, and primary providers. 

Considering the unique ways that the Zika virus is transmitted, NIHB encourages all tribes to remain vigilant in their Zika preparedness efforts, regardless of geographic proximity to vector range and local transmission. Travel-associated cases bring another avenue for possible local transmission through human to human through blood transfer and sexual transmission, human to baby in utero, and human to mosquito through the bite of a Zika infected person.

The completed application is due by 11:59 PM EDT on Friday, July 28th, 2017. The project period will run from approximately August 11, 2017 through February 28th, 2018. Please note that this is an extension of the previous deadline. 

View the recording of an informational webinar about the funding opportunity  HERE
 Webinars, Trainings, Events
sexwebinarSexual Transmission of Zika Webinar Recording Now Available

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) provided a webinar on the Sexual Transmission of Zika on Thursday, July 6. This webinar, presented by NIHB's  Chief Program Officer Robert Foley, covered the fundamentals of sexual transmission of Zika, recommended strategies for prevention of sexual transmission of Zika, and discussed preventative measures that could be incorporated into Zika Action Plans. The recording of this webinar is now available HERE.

ZikaCourseraOnline Course: In the Footsteps of Zika... Approaching the Unknown
Registration ends Saturday, July 15 ***TOMORROW***
Coursera provides worldwide, online access to education from global universities and organizations in various subjects. Coursera will be hosting an eight week Zika course beginning July 10 and continuing through September. Schedules are flexible and additional time to complete the course is permitted.

All course materials can be accessed for free, or participants can pay $49 to earn grades and a formal certificate. However, it is not necessary to pay in order to learn. Alternately, participants who cannot afford the fee can also complete a brief, online financial aid form to request a fee waiver.

The Coursera website states: "The central idea of this course is to bring together participants around the world having a strong interest in Zika. We welcome persons from multiple fields and different backgrounds, including researchers, professors and students in related academic fields, health care professionals, policy makers and stakeholders working with Zika related issues, and also anyone who is looking forward to knowing more about this outbreak without borders."

All materials can be accessed when enrolling in the course. Each week contains a variety of activities such as videos, discussions, and readings. This course may contain more in-depth, scientific, and global information than some other Zika resources.

Learn more, enroll, or read ratings and reviews HERE

ZikaFutureLearnOnline Course: Preventing the Zika Virus: Understanding and Controlling the Aedes Mosquito
Class starts Monday, July 17

FutureLearn is a website that provides free, online courses to all people by partnering with international universities and institutions.  FutureLearn will be hosting a Zika prevention course which addresses the science behind Zika, the Aedes mosquito, vector control, and the global Zika response.

The course is free, and completion is estimated at 4 hours per week for three (3) weeks. The formal class start date is listed as July 17, but the course period begins on registration. Participants have access to course materials for the course duration period and for two (2) additional weeks. Upgrades are available for $54 and the upgrade offers unlimited (ongoing) access to the course, a transcript, and a certificate of achievement. However, payment is not required in order to learn.

This course may contain more in-depth, scientific, and global information than some other Zika resources.

Learn more or register HERE
TexasZika Testing and Clinical Management in Maternal and Infant Populations
Wednesday, July 19 from 12:00-1:30 pm EDT (11-12:30 local time)

The Texas Department of State Health Services is offering a Grand Round presentation to be held on Wednesday, July 19, 2017. The presentation is free and it is possible to attend locally in Austin or online via webinar. If you choose to attend in person, the meeting will be held in the Bernstein building lobby, K-100 Lecture Hall, located at 1100 W. 49th Street. Continuing education credits/contact hours are available for some professions. Certificates of attendance are also available for all participants.

The website states, "This presentation will give providers resources and clinical guidance for assessing Zika risk in pregnant women in Texas, particularly in areas of the state with elevated risk for Zika transmission, and for evaluation of newborns when maternal Zika infection is suspected. Catherine Epps, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital will discuss the status of Zika cases and preparation in Texas, Zika testing and management, including algorithms designed to assist providers with navigating complex recommendations for addressing Zika risks in maternal and infant populations. Dr. Eppes will also educate providers about systems of care that assist pregnant women with evidence of Zika infection as well as families whose infant has been impacted by congenital Zika syndrome."

Learn more and register HERE

ArizonaEventJoin the Arizona Great Mosquito Hunt (Arizona Only)
August-September 2017 (register now)
A public health partnership in Arizona has led to a project opportunity intended for Arizona educators, youth organization leaders and Arizona students in grades 9-12, although other interested grades are welcome to participate. This project is an educational opportunity for youth, but also an opportunity to contribute valuable public health data. Register now if interested!

Learn more HERE

TRAINTRAIN Learning Network, Powered by the Public Health Foundation
Ongoing trainings

Still looking for more training opportunities? The Public Health Foundation (PFH) is a nonprofit organization working in public health quality and performance. PHF powers TRAIN, a national learning network offering thousands of training opportunities  about public health topics. They currently offer twenty-two (22) Zika training courses in forms such as on demand webcast, archived webcast, and self-study web-based training. The course content and intended audience vary by training opportunity. Some courses are sponsored by PHF and some by other agencies, including CDC. 

View or participate in Zika training opportunities offered through TRAIN  HERE

Learn more about Public Health Foundation  HERE
CDCTrainingCDC Zika Training for Healthcare Providers
Do you work in healthcare? CDC has videos, presentations, saved webinars, and other resources available for viewing. Some resources target obstetricians, pediatricians, nurses, or laboratory staff. If you're a healthcare provider, consider checking out what's available  HERE