DC Government Plans To Give Out Free Condoms To Fight The Zika Virus

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Steve Birr Vice Reporter
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The D.C. government is hosting a series of community meetings to promote education on the Zika virus where officials will distribute free mosquito protections kits with condoms.

At the meetings residents can get free Zika virus prevention kits which include insect repellent, mosquito dunks and condoms, reports The Washington City Paper. The virus that has prompted a global health scare spread to the nation’s capital in February with three confirmed cases, including in one pregnant woman.

As mosquito season starts in the District officials are anxious to spread awareness in the community about the virus, especially regarding the risks in traveling.

“Free educational materials and Zika virus prevention kits will be provided,” reads a flyer for the Saturday meetings. “There will also be on-site teams to share information on how to protect yourself and others from mosquito bites.”

The meetings will be hosted from 10-1 p.m. at a location in each ward of the District Saturday May 14, with another round of meetings July 16. The D.C. Department of Health will also take preventive measures to control the mosquito population and reduce the overall risk. (RELATED: Zika Virus Hits DC, 3 Confirmed Cases)

The Zika virus is particularly troubling due to the potential birth defects it is known to cause, including babies born with neurological defects and abnormally small heads. There is currently no known treatment for the disease.

The mosquito-born virus, which can also be sexually transmitted, has been spreading quickly around the world since its outbreak in the Americas last year. The World Health Organization says the virus has now been detected in 23 countries, and the threat has gone from small to one of “alarming proportions.”

There are currently four confirmed cases of Zika in the District, all contracting the disease from international travel, according to the D.C. Department of Health. Due to the threat Zika poses to pregnant women, officials advise couples who have traveled to affected areas abstain from sex or use condoms for the duration of the pregnancy.

The D.C. Department of Health created a Zika virus fact sheet for District residents so they can stay informed on safety and prevention measures. The city will continue to monitor the potential spread of Zika in the capital and update residents as needed.

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