Take precautions against Zika says DHEC

This 2006 photo provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a female Aedes aegypti mosquito in the process of acquiring a blood meal from a human host.

COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is telling people to take precautions at home and while traveling to prevent Zika.

The mosquito-born virus can cause fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes, according to DHEC.

Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus and infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects, including microcephaly.

DHEC says 61 travel-related cases have been reported in South Carolina since April 2016.

While they say no reported cases have been caused by mosquitoes in the state, they’re urging South Carolinians to fight mosquitoes on the home front as temperatures rise.

They say the top way to reduce the number of mosquitoes is to eliminate breeding grounds. One way to do that is by emptying standing water from containers.

People traveling to any country with active Zika transmission should take precautions to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes.

DHEC offers the following tips:

· Use insect repellent
· Wear long sleeves and pants
· Stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens

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