USPS is offering employees tips to protect themselves from the Zika virus, which has been spreading throughout the Caribbean, including the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
The virus is transmitted through mosquito bites. Symptoms include fever, joint pain, muscle aches, rash and conjunctivitis. Most people will not experience symptoms. Most individuals who contract the virus will experience only mild symptoms for a few days.
However, the illness has been linked to severe birth defects in women who contracted Zika while pregnant. Pregnant women and those trying to become pregnant should avoid traveling to affected areas, which also include American Samoa, Central America and South America.
Individuals who intend to travel to one of the affected areas and employees who work in these areas should take appropriate steps to avoid mosquito bites:
Use EPA-approved insect repellant containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants in areas prone to have mosquitoes.
- Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear, including boots, pants and socks.
- Empty standing water at your home and office.