It is important to take all precautions to prevent the transmission of Zika.
ALCOAST 289/16, which outlines Coast Guard requirements and provides guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can be found here.
The Health and Safety Directorate (CG-11) and the Health, Safety, and Work-Life Service Center (HSWL SC) have been working to respond to the Zika virus and to provide guidance to CG units and personnel using evidence-based measures in collaboration with our federal partners such as the CDC, the DHS Office of Health Affairs, the DoD’s Defense Health Agency, and the medical and safety communities of the other Armed Services.
CASES IN U.S.
Widespread local transmission of Zika continues on the island of Puerto Rico and in the U.S. Virgin Islands. To date, 5,460 and 22 locally transmitted cases have been reported in those locations, respectively. A full list of affected countries can be found here.
As of August, 15 likely locally transmitted cases of Zika virus infection have been found in Miami-Dade County, Florida. This means that some mosquitoes in the Miami area are infected with the Zika virus and are able to infect people they bite.
Cases have been found in a one square mile area of Miami-Dade County, Florida. None of the cases have become seriously ill. The exact location at risk can be found here.
Confirmed cases of Zika in CG service members must be reported by the cognizant CG clinic directly to the POC for Medical Issues listed under RESOURCES below, as well as to the Base HSWL Department Head and the member’s chain of command. Clinic personnel must also report confirmed cases of Zika in CG service members in the Disease Reporting System-internet (DRSi).
In light of this, it is recommended that CG units, particularly along the Gulf Coast and in the Southeastern U.S., review pest management program requirements and strategies as outlined in the and contact their local Safety and Environmental Health Officer (SEHO) for assistance with best practices, exposure prevention, and personal protective equipment (PPE) options.
In and around their homes, CG personnel should regularly remove/drain standing water, ensure all window screens are in working order, stay in air conditioned rooms as much as possible, and wear EPA-approved insect repellents when outdoors. Further recommendations can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/zika/prevention/controlling-mosquitoes-at-home.html
- Uniform of the Day direction remains at the discretion of local commanders; however, ODU sleeves rolled down may reduce the risk of Zika infection. Sleeves down in hot weather may require modification of work-rest cycles to mitigate the risk of heat illness.
- Insect repellent may be purchased using AFC 30 or equivalent funds.
- A tri-fold with pertinent information will be offered at local clinics and published on the HSWL-SC website for distribution to all CG personnel.
PREGNANT WOMEN/TRYING TO BECOME PREGNANT
The CDC HAN 393 recommends that pregnant women who do not reside in the area at risk avoid non-essential travel to, or through, the area at risk. Pregnant CG personnel who have lived in or traveled to/through the area at risk since June 15, 2016 should talk to their health care providers about whether or not they should be tested. For policy clarification and guidance, contact the POCs in Paragraphs 18 and 19 below.
The CDC HAN 393 also states that women with Zika virus disease should wait at least eight weeks and men with Zika virus disease should wait at least six months after symptom onset to attempt conception. Women and men with limited risk and who do not report signs or symptoms consistent with Zika virus disease should wait at least eight weeks after last possible exposure to attempt conception.
CG medical providers will continue to follow CDC guidelines on testing for Zika which state that testing for Zika is only recommended for select individuals; if you have symptoms of Zika or are a pregnant woman (with or without symptoms), Zika testing is recommended if you
1) live in or traveled to an area with Zika;
2) had unprotected sex with a partner who lives in or traveled to an area with Zika.
- Coast Guard’s HSWL SC’s Zika General Information Page: https://cg.portal.uscg.mil/units/hswlsc/SitePages/Zika%20General%20Information.aspx.
- CDC’s Zika virus information page: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html
- Florida DOH’s website: http://www.floridahealth.gov/
- Medical Policy Issues: CDR Shane Steiner, CG-1121, Public Health Emergency Officer, 202-475-5256, E-mail: Shane.C.Steiner@uscg.mil
- Personnel Policy Issues: CAPT Jason Merriweather, CG-133, Office of Military Personnel, 202-475-5360, Email: Jason.A.Merriweather@uscg.mil
- For Enlisted and Officer Assignment issues, contact your respective Assignment Officer with specific questions.