Landlords encouraged to take Zika prevention steps

Nashville, Tenn. (April 5, 2017) – Tennessee Housing Development Agency and the Tennessee Department of Health are encouraging landlords and housing agencies to help prevent the transmission of Zika virus over the coming months.

Zika virus is transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes and can be harmful to unborn children.

Several measures can be taken to reduce exposure to mosquitoes and mosquito bites. Landlords are urged to remove any objects or containers from their properties that may fill with stagnant water and provide an environment for mosquitoes to breed. Windows and door screens should also be in good condition to help prevent mosquitoes from entering living areas. Properly working air conditioning units also help reduce exposure to mosquito bites by allowing residents to keep their doors and windows closed.

A Zika virus infection contracted by a pregnant woman can result in severe abnormalities in newborns, or even the death of the unborn child. Zika has primarily been associated with travel to Latin America and the Caribbean. However, local mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission has been reported in the states in the deep south, including South Florida and along the Southern Border of Texas.

The Tennessee Department of Health is monitoring for evidence of local transmission and said it has plans to respond to limit additional spread of Zika in Tennessee.

“Reducing populations of Aedes mosquitoes is a community effort since they breed in water contained in objects we discard or place on our properties,” TDH Director of Vector-Borne Diseases Program Dr. Abelardo C. Moncayo said.

There is currently no vaccine or medicine for the treatment of Zika.

Landlords and others in housing concerned about the spread of Zika virus can find wide range of information by visiting https://www.cdc.gov/zika/comm-resources/toolkits.html and clicking on the tab for Housing Management & Associations.

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