Baltimore City officials announced their citywide efforts to prevent the spread of the Zika virus.
“Every member of our community needs to see this as all-hands-on-deck,” said Baltimore City Health Commissioner, Dr. Leana Wen. “We need to protect each other and protect our loved ones.”
City health officials report that as of April 2017, there has been 5,274 cases of Zika in the U.S. In Baltimore City, there have been 15 cases where those individuals traveled to an area with active Zika transmission and contracted the virus.
The Zika virus is spread by mosquitoes or unprotected sex and there is no cure or vaccine for the virus.
“This is something that is preventable. There’s no vaccine and no cure but there is something that we can do to prevent us from getting Zika in the first place,” said Dr. Wen.
The city’s first plan includes accurate public education, especially when it comes to pregnant women.
“Zika has devastating impacts on the unborn child if a pregnant woman is infected with Zika,” said Dr. Wen.
“That’s why the most important thing I want to tell pregnant women in Baltimore City is do not travel to areas with active Zika transmission ongoing.”
City officials also plan to stay prepared in case the virus makes it way to Baltimore. They also urge residents to take precautions during the warmer months.