Take Action Against Zika

Puerto Rico Event Highlights How People Can Protect Themselves, Families and Communities

There’s quite a bit we don’t know about Zika virus at this time, but we know for sure that Zika infection during pregnancy can be dangerous for the unborn babies of women infected with the virus. This danger includes the potential onset of severe birth defects, such as microcephaly, and other problems in infants, including eye defects, hearing loss and impaired growth.

As of June 22, more than 1,800 cases of Zika virus had been recorded in U.S. territories, including 216 pregnant women infected with the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It’s vital for the government, philanthropic and business sectors to come together to address Zika, but it’s also essential for women as well as their partners, families and communities to know more about Zika and utilize practical steps to increase protection against its threat.

Today in Caguas, Puerto Rico—about 20 miles from the capital of San Juan—the community is coming together for a Zika Action Day focused on protection against Zika. Participating in the event are representatives from the Puerto Rico Department of Health, CDC and corporate partners, including the day’s primary sponsor The Home Depot.

View Zika Action Day FlyerThe event features a health fair with public health experts discussing Zika and answering questions; product demonstrations to show people how to protect themselves by taking simple actions in their homes, yards and neighborhoods; kids’ workshops; and giveaways. Pregnant women are being offered a free Zika Prevention Kit, which includes such items as CDC educational materials, topical insect repellent, condoms to avoid potential sexual transmission of Zika, bed nets and mosquito dunks to reduce mosquito populations.

While hundreds are learning more about Zika virus through this event, there are many more people to reach. In the coming weeks, we’re excited that the CDC Foundation and other partners will kick-off a comprehensive public communication campaign in Puerto Rico aimed at raising awareness about the dangers of Zika virus as well as actions, including those being taught at today’s Zika Action Day event, to help reduce the spread of the virus.

We thank The Home Depot and the Puerto Rico Department of Health for their work to help address the spread of Zika virus, including hosting the Zika Action Day in Puerto Rico.

Laura Croft
Laura Croft is the chief advancement officer for the CDC Foundation.