In light of recent Zika virus outbreaks in the Western Hemisphere, the Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department asks residents to take precautionary measures against mosquito bites when enjoying our beautiful parks and trails.

Zika is an infectious disease transmitted through the bite of the Aedes mosquito. Symptoms of infected individuals include: fever, rash, join pain, and/or red eyes. The mild symptoms may last up to a week and rarely require hospitalization. A Zika infection during pregnancy may result in microcephaly birth defects—abnormal brain development resulting in fetus head deformation.

Although the virus has not been reported in the Western United States, you are encouraged to prevent disease spread by avoiding mosquito bites. As there is no vaccine for Zika, it is recommended that you use DEET-based insect repellants, drain standing water around your home (mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water), limit outdoor activity during times mosquitoes are most active (dawn/dusk), and dress in long and loose light-colored clothes to avoid getting bitten.

Should you suspect you’re carrying the virus, get plenty of rest, maintain yourself hydrated, consult a healthcare provider about fever and pain medication, avoid aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs, and refrain from unprotected sexual activity to prevent sexual transmission of the virus.

The Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department is proactively monitoring and surveying municipal bodies of standing water and park sites—using mosquito-eating fish and EPA products to kill mosquito larvae—and making an effort to reduce areas of standing water.

For more information about the Zika virus visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and California Department of Public Health websites: www.cdc.gv/zika and www.cdph.ca.gov respectively.

Questions may be directed to the Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department’s Vector Control staff at (805) 925 – 0951 ext. 2356.

Department:                                    Santa Maria Recreation and Parks

Department Contact Person:                             Cindy Hoskins

Telephone Number:                      (805) 925-0951 ext. 2349

E-mail Address:                             choskins@cityofsantamaria.org