State launches Zika awareness campaign

Posted at 8:10 AM, May 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-26 13:30:15-04

New York State has launched an aggressive Zika virus awareness campaign to help New Yorkers understand the dangers of the virus.

It's part of Governor Andrew Cuomo's six-step action plan to combat the virus across the Empire State.

A Public Service Announcement will play in 40 markets in both English and Spanish.

The Zika virus is particularly dangerous for pregnant women because it has been linked to a severe birth defect called microcephaly. The state is providing free Zika prevention kits to pregnant women, which include educational materials, insect repellent, condoms and larvicide tablets. The Zika virus can be transmitted sexually, so condoms should be used if either partner has recently visited a region where the Zika virus is prevalent.

All 58 counties, including those in Western New York, have created individual action plans on trapping, testing and controlling for Aedes mosquitoes, which are the type of mosquitoes that are known to transmit the virus. 

The state also plans to install 100,000 larvicide tablets in regions that could host Aedes mosquitoes. New Yorkers are encouraged to do their part by eliminating standing water in places such as flower pots, plastic containers or even clogged gutters. Residents can request free larvicide tablets by calling 1-888-364-4723.