The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released an update on Zika Virus to address cases of Zika being transmitted by mosquitoes in Florida. The new information can be viewed at http://www.cdc.gov/zika/.
With the official start of summer just around the corner, we have received inquiries about how zoos and aquariums can protect their visitors, staff, and animals from the threat of Zika virus. Please look over the following resources for information on Zika and strategies that could prevent the virus from arriving at your facility:
– Occupational Safety and Help Administration (OSHA)
– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Zika Virus Prevention page
- Zika and Pregnancy
- Zika and Animals
- Media Questions and Answers: Zika Virus and Nonhuman Primates (NHPs)
- Technical Questions and Answers for Veterinarians and Animal Care Professionals
– World Health Organization
The above CDC document, Technical Answers for Veterinarians and Animal Care Professionals, states “if Zika virus is found in humans in areas that have outdoor NHP housing, the animals could be infected with the virus. Facilities with outdoor housing should work with the state and local authorities to develop a mosquito surveillance and management program at the facility to prevent the spread of Zika Virus.” Regardless of whether or not your facility houses nonhuman primates, we recommend you connect with your state and local public health and agricultural or animal health officials as soon as possible in order to establish an understanding before Zika arrives in your community. Zoo Atlanta met with their local officials to assess the threat of Zika at the facility, and was able to create a Safety and Security Bulletin containing outdoor and water safety tips.
A list of current State Animal Health Officials (SAHOs) can be found here, and the CDC has risk-based preparedness and response guidelines for states available on their website.