Don’t freak about Zika

The mosquito-borne virus hasn’t reached Butte County, health officials say

For sure, news reports of Zika, the new mosquito-borne illness making rounds in Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean, are alarming. Preliminary reports indicate that the virus causes microcephaly, a condition in which babies are born with much smaller heads than normal. But, to date, there’s no evidence of mosquitoes carrying the virus in California, according to a press release from Butte County’s Department of Public Health. The agency is working with the Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District to closely monitor any signs of Zika.

Although risk at this point is minimal, Public Health encourages county residents to take these precautions to avoid mosquito bites:

• Use insect repellant containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon and eucalyptus.

• Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants.

• Use screen doors and windows to keep mosquitoes out of your home.

• Drain standing water around your home.