The Pennsylvania Department of Health today launched the commonwealth’s latest initiative to help protect Pennsylvanians from the Zika virus. Prevention Kits for Pregnant Women are being distributed to provide education about the virus and list the steps that can be taken to avoid mosquito bites, as well as prevent the insects from multiplying around homes.
“While Zika is spread primarily by mosquitoes that are infected with the virus, it also can spread through sexual contact with individuals who have the disease,” said PA Department of Health Secretary Dr. Karen Murphy. “Because Zika poses serious health risks for babies born to women who contracted the virus during pregnancy, the kits include health education materials and prevention tools to avoid mosquito bites and sexual transmission of the disease to pregnant women. Using the products in the Zika Prevention Kit can help protect you and your loved ones from the virus.”
Beginning Thursday, the department will start distributing Zika Prevention Kits for Pregnant Women around the commonwealth. The kits contain EPA-registered insect repellent for skin, permethrin spray repellent for treating clothing and shoes, standing water tablets for killing mosquito larva, condoms to prevent sexual transmission of Zika, and educational materials in both English and Spanish. The kits will be available free of charge to pregnant women and can be obtained locally at health departments, federally qualified health centers, community health centers, WIC offices and other non-profit organizations that service women who are either low-income or homeless.
The kits are limited in quantity and will be distributed to organizations based on population, with distribution greatest in the southern part of the state. Pregnant women can visit www.zika.pa.gov to find a kit provider in their local area. Electronic versions of the educational inserts can also be found on the department’s website and are available for download in both English and Spanish.