According to an online survey conducted by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), the majority of Americans are not planning to alter their outdoor plans this summer because of the Zika virus. The Zika virus is an emerging concern for park and recreation professionals nationwide, as it is a public health crisis threatening to expand.
Survey respondents were asked how likely they are to alter their outdoor plans this summer because of the Zika virus. The majority of respondents, 31 percent, indicated that they definitely will not alter their plans. Twenty-three percent indicated that they are either very unlikely to or somewhat unlikely to change their plans. Only 6 percent indicated that they definitely will change their plans. Survey results also showed that the concern was greater among respondents with children and those of child-bearing age.
“While the majority of Americans may not be planning to alter their outdoor plans this summer, there is a need for everyone to be mindful of the steps they should take to help prevent and protect themselves from the spread of the Zika virus,” said Barbara Tulipane, NRPA president and CEO. “Public education is one of the most important roles that local park and recreation agencies can play in the Zika response.”
NRPA is working to make sure it’s members are prepared to combat the spread of Zika from mosquito bites. In addition, the group continues to promote better collaboration between park and recreation agencies and local public health agencies.
Various park and recreation agencies across the U.S. are already implementing educational programs to help communities prevent the spread of Zika. Currently, agencies in Houston, Texas, Miami-Dade County, Florida and Mecklenburg County, North Carolina among others are educating their communities on how to prevent and protect themselves from mosquitoes.
To learn more about how parks and recreation and responding to Zika, visit www.nrpa.org/zika.