zika-woman-CDCOur agency continues to measure what matters in an effort to improve our services to Arizonans and review these measurements on a routine basis to ensure we’re on track in achieving our mission. One critical component of the work we do here is providing education, recommendations, and guidance to the public, healthcare providers, and public health partners in order to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. It’s important to monitor whether we are accomplishing this work through routine measurement.

Our agency scorecard contains a metric to address prevention of Zika virus. While at this time Arizona has only identified 10 Zika cases, all in individuals who traveled to a Zika-affected area, we recognize the potential impact of the disease in pregnant women and their unborn children and are committed to preventing its spread within our state’s borders.

Zika virus can spread by the bite of an infected mosquito or in some cases through sexual transmission . As such, it is critical that when public health identifies anyone we think could have Zika, those individuals are offered prevention services before their test results come back. Prevention services include things like counseling the patient to avoid mosquito bites, which reduce the chances of Arizona mosquitos being infected with Zika. They also include educating the patient on the importance of reducing the opportunity for sexual transmission of the disease by abstaining from sex or using appropriate protection. Local environmental health agencies participate in prevention services by trapping for mosquitos around the home of someone suspected to have Zika to better understand whether the kind of mosquito that spreads Zika is present, and killing off that mosquito population if it is found.

We’re targeting 100 percent compliance with provision of prevention services, meaning that public health will provide appropriate education and mosquito control to every single person we approve to be tested for Zika. So far, we’ve met our target. We’ll keep monitoring to ensure we maintain these critical services and continue to do our best to prevent local transmission of Zika virus here in Arizona.