The Story County Public Health has issued information related to Ebola, as well as chikungunya and dengue disease.
Ebola does not pose a significant risk to the U.S. public. While Ebola is a dreadful disease, it is not a disease transmitted through the air. Also, someone who is not feeling ill with symptoms of Ebola will not infect someone else.
If you or your family has plans to travel out of the United States, it is recommended they check the Centers for Disease Control website (wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list) to see current outbreaks/advisories/recommendations for international travel.
The most important thing for international travelers to be certain of is that their vaccinations are up-to-date, especially for any diseases that may be common in the areas to which they are traveling.
Chikungunya and dengue are mosquito-borne diseases. They are found in many countries all over the world, including islands in the Caribbean, and in southern Florida.
Chikungunya in returning travelers has been reported in all of Iowa’s bordering states, but as of August 7, 2014, no cases have been reported in Iowa. Dengue is reported in 2 to 5 travelers each year in Iowa.
Symptoms are very similar, and both diseases should be suspected in travelers with fever returning to Iowa from endemic areas. The most common symptoms of chikungunya virus infection are primarily joint pain and fever and can include muscle pain, headache or rash. The most common symptoms of dengue virus infection (first infections) are fever, intense headache, muscle and joint pain, nausea/vomiting, and rash. However, infections with dengue can cause serious and sometimes fatal illnesses such as hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome.
Protect yourself against chikungunya, dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases:
o Use insect repellent with DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Always read the repellent label and consult with a health care provider if you have questions when using these types of products for children. For example, DEET should not be used on infants less than 2 months old and oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under 3 years old.
o Sleep in screened-in rooms or under a mosquito net.
o Avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
o Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes, and socks whenever possible outdoors.
o Eliminate standing water around the home because that’s where mosquitoes lay eggs.
o Empty water from buckets, cans, pool covers and pet water dishes.
o Change water in bird baths every three to four days.