South Plainfield, NJ  – This past week Senator Patrick J. Diegnan (D-18) joined several New Jersey public officials including Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) to discuss the Zika virus and the urgency of Congressional Republicans to fund efforts to combat its spread.
 

“Although there is minimal threat of infection in our immediate area, it is in our best interest to be on guard and to take preventative measures,” said Diegnan (D-18). “We must act now to do whatever we can to protect the lives of our residents, particularly pregnant women.”
 

“Congressman Pallone and Senator Menendez have been tireless advocates for the protection of public health and I thank them for their hard work. I also would like to thank the scientists and experts at the Middlesex County Mosquito Extermination Commission, the Edison Board of Health and all health officials in our county for their efforts in protecting the local area.”

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According to the New Jersey Department of Health, people most often get Zika through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. After transmission, about one in five people develop symptoms and infection is usually mild. The most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. Symptoms usually begin two to seven days after being bitten and last several days to a week. The biggest concern is related to birth defects that have been seen when pregnant women become infected.
 

The best way to prevent Zika is to avoid mosquito bites when traveling to an area where Zika is present. Because there is no vaccine currently available, public officials on all levels should continue to coordinate their efforts to combat the virus. Pregnant women should consult with their doctors if they have traveled in any of the affected areas. For further information, please visit the Centers For Disease Control Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov/zika/