SHREWSBURY — Monmouth County officials will conduct a series of public health forums this summer to discuss the latest information about the Zika virus and mosquito-related issues. The forums are aimed at promoting Monmouth County’s initiative to join the campaign to Fight the Bite against mosquito-borne diseases.
The forums are scheduled from 7:30-8:30 p.m. June 30 at the Eastern Branch Library, 1001 Route 35, Shrewsbury, and from 10-11 a.m. July 8 at Monmouth County Library headquarters, 125 Symmes Drive, Manalapan.
The forums will be hosted by the Monmouth County Library and sponsored by the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Monmouth County Board of Health, Monmouth Regional Health Commission, Monmouth Health Consortium and the Monmouth County Mosquito Control Division.
“We must fight the bite. It is important that everyone knows and understands the facts about the Zika virus. So, come out to the forums and learn how to keep you and your family healthy and safe,” said Monmouth County Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso, liaison to the Mosquito Control Division. “These informative sessions are important because education is our first line of defense.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis (more commonly known as pink eye). The illness usually presents itself within a week of being bitten by an infected mosquito. Those who contract the virus usually experience mild symptoms.
Due to the mild symptoms and effects of the virus, it is possible someone might not realize they have been infected. People usually do not get sick enough to go to the hospital, and death due to the Zika virus is very rare, according to the CDC. Nonetheless, it is important to note that a Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect known as microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects.
According to the CDC, once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.
Representatives will be on hand to discuss the current status of the Zika virus in the United States and offer preventative information.
To identify ways residents can help reduce the mosquito population, Monmouth County has created a Mosquito Habitat Checklist which is available at www.visitmonmouth.com/mosquito.
For more information, call Monmouth County Mosquito Control at 732-542-3630 or visit www.visitmonmouth.com and click on the Fight the Bite button.