Johns Hopkins experts warn against Zika rumors, encourage focus on facts

Experts at Johns Hopkins Hospital have warned their colleagues about Zika-related rumors.

As the world prepares for the Zika virus, researchers at Johns Hopkins Hospital are keeping an open perspective concerning the spread of the virus.

Researchers and medical staff at the university are urging their colleagues to work with facts and not get carried away with false rumors.

“When facing any infectious disease virus, like Zika virus, it’s important to remain calm and arm ourselves with the facts,” Lisa Maragakis, senior director of infection prevention for the Johns Hopkins Health System, said. “Be sure you are getting your information from a reliable medical resource.”

The Zika virus has been spreading predominantly throughout Latin America, but cases have also appeared in the U.S. Although the virus is usually spread through mosquitos, it can be transmitted sexually, as well.

“The same methods people might use to protect themselves from other mosquito-borne illnesses or mosquito bites in general will be effective with the most common type of transmission of Zika, which is mosquito to human,” Maragakis said. “So, all of the things you think about — staying indoors, avoiding outdoor areas that have a lot of outdoor water reservoirs and mosquitoes, using insect repellent and wearing long sleeves and long pants, particularly in materials that have been treated to repel mosquitoes — these are all ways we can avoid Zika virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses.”

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