Health briefs: Travelers advised to take precautions against mosquitoes | SteamboatToday.com

Health briefs: Travelers advised to take precautions against mosquitoes

Yampa Valley Health

Travelers are advised to take precautions against mosquitoes

Northwest Colorado Health recommends individuals planning travel to some popular destinations take precautions against mosquitoes, which can carry Zika, Chikungunya, and Dengue viruses. Areas in which travelers have a greater risk of contracting mosquito-transmitted viruses include Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South American and some parts of the U.S., including areas in Florida, Texas and Hawaii. The following steps can be taken to protect against mosquito bites.

•  Cover exposed skin with long-sleeved shirts and long pants.

• Use insect repellents registered with the U.S. Environment Protection Agency that contain active ingredients approved for safety and effectiveness, such as DEET, picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus, or OLE. For more information, visit epa.gov/insect-repellents.

• Always follow directions on insect-repellent labels. Pregnant and breastfeeding women can use all EPA-registered insect repellents, including DEET. Most repellents, including DEET, can be used on children two months and older. Adults should spray insect repellent onto hands and then apply to a child's face.

• Wear permethrin-treated clothing and gear (boots, pants, socks, tents). Pre-treated items can be purchases, or consumers can treat them after purchase (permethrin is not effective in Puerto Rico).

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• Stay and sleep in screened-in, air-conditioned rooms whenever possible. Sleep under a mosquito net if rooms with air conditioning or screens are not available or if sleeping outdoors. Mosquito netting can be used to cover infants 2 months and younger in carriers, strollers or cribs. Some mosquitoes are active both day and night.

• Pregnant women may need to take special precautions and/or avoid travel to some areas with active Zika virus. For more information, visit cdc.gov/zika.

For more tips and information about high risk areas and various mosquito-transmitted viruses, visit cdc.gov/features/stopmosquitoes.

Program expands eligibility for cervical cancer screenings

Northwest Colorado Health is offering free cervical cancer screenings and diagnostic services to women age 21 to 64 through the Women's Wellness Connection. Eligibility for these services previously began at age 40. To qualify, women must meet financial qualifications, be in the U.S. legally and have limited or no health insurance. Women's Wellness Connection is a program of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. For more information, visit northwestcoloradohealth.org/wwc or call 970-879-1632.