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. 
August 11, 2017
MYTHZika Myth of the Week
Myth: Zika is not a threat this year. I keep seeing in the news that the Zika threat has decreased and that fewer people in the United States and other countries in the Americas are catching Zika virus. Because of this, I don't need to worry about Zika. 

This is a myth and is not correct!

Truth"We are not downgrading the importance of Zika," said World Health Organization (WHO) health emergency director Dr. Salama, in November 2016 when the WHO declared that Zika was no longer classified as a global emergency. "We are sending the message that Zika is here to stay and the WHO response is here to stay." [Source]

Zika became such an emergency when the virus began spreading in new populations and causing microcephaly. Now, Zika remains a threat. It may also become more common again in the future. 

After a person is infected with Zika virus, he or she will have immunity. Therefore, in areas where many people have previously been infected with Zika virus, Zika cannot spread as easily. 

Public outreach and Zika prevention efforts may also prevent disease. When more individuals and communities take action to prevent Zika, Zika virus cases may decrease; this means that additional action to prevent Zika is working, not that the action should stop because Zika is no longer a concern. (Learn more about how to protect yourself from Zika.)

The consequences of Zika have not changed and viral infection during pregnancy still has devastating consequences. Even if you may be less likely to get Zika this year, it is still "worth it" to take personal protective measures. Not taking preventive action is a risk that can lead to catching or spreading Zika infection - which may lead to birth defects, feeling sick, and other health complications, such as Guillain-BarrĂ© syndrome

Finally, taking action against Zika can also help protect against other mosquito-borne diseases, such as West Nile Virus  
chikungunyadengue, and  others

Don't be fooled into thinking that Zika is no longer a threat or that Zika prevention is not important this summer.  

Zika 101Zika101

Learn the TOP FIVE things everyone should know about Zika  HERE
NIHB Resources
Learn more about Tribal Zika Response and Planning at the NIHB Zika Hub

Did you know NIHB can offer technical assistance related to Zika planning? If you are looking for additional resources or need assistance, please EMAIL NIHB

NIHB main website can be accessed HERE

Have questions? Need assistance? Click here to email NIHB staff 

In This Newsletter

SCREENSWindow Screens Can Prevent Mosquito Bites
Since Zika is primarily spread through mosquitoes, preventing mosquito bites is one of the best ways to stay healthy and safe. Installing and using screens is one way to prevent mosquito bites.  It is also recommended to keep windows closed and use air conditioning if available to prevent leaving doors or windows open.  When doors or windows are open without screens, mosquitoes can enter a home. The main type of mosquitoes that carry Zika  sometimes even live and breed inside people's residences.

Image courtesy of CDC

Some residences already have screens installed. Be sure to repair any holes or tears  these screens develop  (for example, with a patch) .

If a residence does not have screens, you can install your own. This does not have to be expensive. There are also different types of screens available for different preferences; for example, some screens are almost invisible. The important thing is that the screen fits the window tightly and that the holes are too small for mosquitoes to pass through.

Home improvement or hardware stores usually sell screening material and may offer services to help you install them. For example, a home improvement store may send a contractor or employee to measure your windows or install the screens for you. Screen doors and windows can be professionally installed but there are also other options. 

Depending on the type of windows you have, you may be able to use a sliding screen such as the version below. This type of screen can expand to fit windows within a range of widths. A sliding screen is inexpensive and portable because it can be easily removed or moved from one window to another. However, you may need to ensure that the screen fits the window tightly at the edges because mosquitoes may enter through gaps or cracks. 

Sliding Screen
Image from Home Depot

You can also make a screen using sheet screen material and a frame. If no other options are available, even using appropriate, sturdy tape to attach a screen (for example, to cover a basement window) may keep insects outside. Here is a sample guide for making your own screen. Home improvement stores or hardware stores may be able to provide additional resources. 

Some screens can also attach to a door to prevent mosquitoes from entering a home. An example of a similar screen is shown below. Again, check that the screen fits the door correctly and that there are no gaps where mosquitoes can enter. 

Sliding Screen
Image from Amazon
To learn more about window screens, consult with a home improvement or hardware store. Note that the examples here are for informational purposes only. NIHB does not necessarily recommend any specific brand of screen; rather, NIHB simply encourages families to use screens that fit securely and prevent mosquitoes from entering. 
Zika News
CulexMosZika Virus May Also Spread with the Common Culex Mosquito

Read the article HERE

Researchers Request Community Participation for Zika-Tracking App
Researchers at the University of Arizona have developed an app, named Kidenga, to track possible cases of Zika or other mosquito-borne diseases. Available for users in Texas, Florida, Arizona, and California, this app encourages users to enter symptoms of mosquito-borne disease. Collected information is shared with the researchers to help identify areas of possible illness. The app also educates users about prevention and transmission. However, greater participation is needed for greatest app effectiveness. 

If you believe you have Zika virus, you should see a doctor. 

Read a Homeland Preparedness News article about the app HERE
Learn more about the app from the official website HERE
 Webinars, Trainings, Events
CDCupdatedGUIDANCEZika Virus: Updates to Clinical Guidance and Recommendations for Pregnant Women and Infants
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Emergency Preparedness and Response recently held a Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) call webinar regarding the CDC's updated interim guidance.   The slides and webcast are available  HERE

actionDAYZika Action Day Toolkit Available
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have released a Zika Action Day Toolkit to help communities plan a Zika event. The event can be used to educate community members and provide resources and information. Learn more  HERE

AAPwebinarBeyond the Basics: The Impact of Zika Virus on Vision and Hearing
September 5, 2017 from 12-1 pm ET
The American Academy of Pediatrics will hold a webinar on September 5 to provide information about hearing and vision problems in babies born with Congenital Zika Virus Syndrome. The webinar will also share information about research in this area and clinical guidance for pediatricians.  Learn more or register HERE

YOURIDEASShare your ideas: if there are other Zika-related topics you would like to learn more about in the future, please email NIHB HERE
Is there something you would like to learn more about? NIHB may use ideas for upcoming webinars or newsletters. NIHB can also provide technical assistance related to Zika planning.