Health ministers guide
Corporate Authors:Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.) ; United States. Department of Health and Human Services. Partnership Center ;
Description:As a health minister, you hold a uniquely powerful place in your community. Health ministers often have important insights into the local culture and have earned the trust of community members. You may even serve as community members’ first point of contact for health concerns. This guide is designed to help you help your community learn about Zika.
Zika virus disease (Zika) is primarily spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito (Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus). This type of mosquito lives in some parts of the United States. A mosquito becomes infected by biting someone who is infected with Zika. Once the mosquito is infected, it can pass the virus to other people it bites.
Health ministers and their communities should be concerned about Zika infection during pregnancy because babies born to women who were infected with Zika virus while pregnant can have microcephaly and other severe brain defects. Microcephaly is a condition in which a baby’s head is much smaller than expected. During pregnancy, a baby’s head grows because the baby’s brain grows. Microcephaly can occur because a baby’s brain has not developed properly during pregnancy. Babies with microcephaly can have a range of other health problems, depending on how severe their microcephaly is. These problems can range from mild to severe and are often lifelong. In some cases, these problems can be life-threatening.
The HHS Partnership Center and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention collaborated to create the Health Minister’s Guide on Zika and the Zika Action Guide for Health Ministers. These guides provide information and actionable steps for communities working to fight Zika.
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