The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department will offer a lunch-and-learn event, “Zika & You: What You Need to Know to Fight the Bite,” from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 25 in the Lawrence Public Library auditorium, 707 Vermont St. The event is open to the public, and lunch will be provided.
The program will begin at noon with a presentation by D. Christopher Rogers, a research associate for the Kansas Biological Survey at the University of Kansas. Rogers monitors mosquitoes for the State of Kansas.
After Rogers’ presentation, there will be a brief panel discussion with an opportunity for community members to ask questions. In addition to Rogers, panelists will include:
- Amie Worthington, arboviral disease surveillance coordinator for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
- Dr. Jennifer Schrimsher, an infectious disease specialist for Lawrence Memorial Hospital.
Zika virus primarily spreads through infected mosquitoes, but it also can be passed through sex from a person who has Zika to his or her sex partners. Zika infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect where the brain doesn’t develop properly. There is no vaccine to prevent Zika. The best way to prevent Zika is to prevent mosquito bites by:
- Using insect repellent.
- Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Staying in places with air conditioning or window and door screens.
- Removing standing water around your home.
“This is a great opportunity to learn from our state experts about the Zika virus and how to be proactive in preventing mosquito bites,” said Sonia Jordan, preparedness and epidemiology coordinator at the Health Department.