State begins Zika awareness campaign at Bradley Airport

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WINDSOR LOCKS — On Thursday at Bradley International Airport, Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced state efforts to inform travelers about the Zika virus.

Malloy, Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman, Connecticut Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr Raul Pino, and Connecticut Airport Authority Executive Director Kevin Dillon held a news conference announcing the state’s efforts to ensure travelers have information concerning Zika.

The focus of the campaign is on travelers to and from Puerto Rico and other tropical destinations.

With the summer travel season kicking into high gear over the next several weeks, the campaign focused on passengers traveling to and from San Juan on JetBlue’s two daily flights, but will also be seen by other travelers who may be connecting through other airports on their way to areas in the Caribbean, or Central and South America currently affected by Zika virus.

Posters in both English and Spanish will be placed on the jet bridges for the flights to San Juan. The posters warn travelers to the American Tropics of the risk for mosquito-borne diseases, including Zika, and what steps to take to avoid mosquito bites.

Other posters focus on travelers returning from the American Tropics, providing information on symptoms to watch for and advice on seeking treatment if symptoms arise. Posters will also be displayed on the JetBlue baggage carousel with advice for returning travelers.

The CT DPH has also produced a wallet-sized, fold out pamphlet with Zika information that will be handed out to passengers boarding the JetBlue flights to San Juan. The TSA will begin showing a series of public service announcements on the Zika virus featuring Wyman and Pino on the video monitors in the TSA passenger screening areas.

As of June 8, 691 cases of travel-related Zika have been reported in the continental United States. Of those, 206 were pregnant women and 11 were sexually transmitted. In Connecticut, 382 patients, including 315 pregnant women, have been tested for Zika virus, as of June 14. Twenty-six of those patients, including 8 pregnant women, have tested positive for travel-related Zika.