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Raising Zika Awareness

Zika is the small name for a virus having a big impact across the globe due to the potential threat to pregnant women and their babies. Discovered in Africa in the 1950’s the Zika virus was previously contained to the equatorial belt in Asia and Africa. In recent years the virus has gained momentum and has spread to the Americas and the Caribbean, causing pandemic outbreaks in numerous countries. Though typically a mild illness in adults, recent evidence suggests Zika infections during pregnancy have the potential to cause microcephaly and other poor outcomes for the newborn.

Currently there are no medicines to cure or vaccinations to prevent Zika, and research is still being conducted on the virus’s spread and its human impact. With no known cure or preventative vaccine, the surest way to safeguard your health is through awareness and taking preventative steps.


  • The virus is transmitted by the same mosquitos (genus Aedes) that carry West Nile, Yellow Fever and Dengue. These mosquitos are known as “day-time biters” and are aggressive feeders.
  • The incubation period for Zika is 3 to 12 days after the bite. The infection usually remains in the blood for a week.
  • Zika typically causes mild illnesses lasting a few days up to a week. It is often described as a mild version of Dengue and usually resolves on its own without hospitalization.
  • The virus is not typically contagious person to person but evidence suggests it can be spread from blood transfusions, organ transplants, sexual contact, and mother to fetus.


  • Avoid mosquitos and mosquito bites.
    • Use insect repellant that contains 20% or more DEET. Reapply often.
    • Portable mosquito repellent appliances provide extra defense.
    • Wear long sleeves and pants.
    • Use screens on windows and doors and netting around your bed.
    • Mosquito proof your lawn by reducing areas with standing water and spray treating.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends avoiding travel to areas with active virus transmissions. Pregnant women or those thinking to become pregnant should be especially vigilant in their travel plans and pay heed to all issued travel alerts.


  • 60-80% of infections do not produce symptoms
  • Fever
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Flat or raised skin rash
  • Conjunctivitis (red eyes)
  • Headache


  • Get plenty of rest and drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
  • Take fever reducing medicine like acetaminophen to relieve fever and pain from muscle and joint aches. Aspirin and NSAID’s should be avoided until Dengue can be ruled out to reduce the risk of hemorrhage.
  • Avoid additional mosquito bites to prevent transmission of the virus.

For additional information, please refer to The World Health Organization at: www.who.int or The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov.

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U.S. Security Associates (USA) is one of North America's largest security companies, with 160 locally-responsive offices providing premier national security services and global consulting and investigations to customers in a range of industries. Recognized for world class customer service, leading-edge technology, and an enterprise approach to risk management, USA offers optimized security solutions to meet specific customer needs. USA is committed to building quality security and risk management programs that are Safe. Secure. Friendly.® The Securing Knowledge series is part of the extensive and growing library of reference and training tools that contribute to USA's award-winning customer service and benchmark security programs. USA's investment in training and development resources is reflected not only by BEST Awards from the American Society for Training & Development, consistent ranking on the Training magazine Top 125, and technology-driven quality management system, but also by the company's leadership team, security officers, and service excellence on a daily basis.

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