With the spring travel season underway, local officials are reminding Hudson Valley residents that the Zika virus is still a significant health risk.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all pregnant women not travel to any area where there is a risk of the Zika virus infection. This includes areas where the virus has recently been detected, places were Zika was spotted in the past and areas the where the virus is likely to be, but hasn’t been documented.

“It is still vitally important for pregnant women or couples considering pregnancy to pay close attention to all health recommendations related to Zika virus,” said Margaret Hirst, LCSW-R, Acting Commissioner of the Department of Behavioral & Community Health. “We recommend residents consult the CDC website for travel advisories and guidance whenever they are planning a trip.”

Health officials from Dutchess County continue to stress the importance of mosquito bite prevention for all residents traveling to areas where the Zika virus is circulating. It’s recommended that you use EPA registered bug spray to prevent mosquito bites. Long pants and long-sleeved shirts can also prevent bites, as well as, staying in places with air conditioning and window screens, or sleeping under a bed net.

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