By Miriam Raftery
May 21, 2016 (San Diego) -- The Dept. of Defense is taking action to protect military families from the Zika virus, which can cause microcephaly and brain damage in babies if a mother contracts Zika while pregnant.
Department of Defense (DoD) labs are enhancing techniques to test mosquitoes for Zika. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) is offering voluntary relocation out of affected areas to all pregnant DoD employees and beneficiaries, and all Army medical facilities have been notified of the concerns surrounding Zika infections and are prepared to assist patients who may have been infected.
The Armed Forces Pest Management Board recommends wear of permethrin-treated uniforms/clothing, use of approved insect repellent, and removal of standing water that may serve as mosquito breeding sites to prevent bites.
Read the Army’s article here with advice for military famlies: https://www.army.mil/article/161994/Zika_Virus___What_is_it__What_can_you_do_/
Zika can be transmitted sexually as well as through mosquito bites. The CDC offers these guidelines for avoiding sexual transmission of Zika, including abstaining from sex or using condoms after visiting Zika-infested areas: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/transmission/sexual-transmission.html