Health officials predict the Zika virus will spread to the U.S. this summer, and the map below shows the states most at risk for an outbreak. (Red indicates high risk, orange moderate risk, and yellow low risk.)
Photo: National Center for Atmospheric Research
If you spend any time watching CNN, this news is enough to make you invest in a hazmat suit. And yes, the possible linkage to microcephaly (a condition that causes babies’ heads to be smaller than normal and is associated with developmental problems) is frightening. But the CDC says that unless you or your partner are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, there’s no need to be on high alert.
Here’s a handy cheat sheet to help you protect yourself from the virus (or simply stop freaking out!):
If you’re pregnant: The CDC recommends canceling or postponing trips to any countries with a Zika outbreak. Pregnant women aren’t more likely to contract the virus, but as we’ve already mentioned, there is a possible link between Zika and birth defects. If a Zika outbreak occurs where you live, consult your doctor and limit your chances of being bitten by a mosquito (wear long sleeves and pants, use an EPA-registered insect repellent, and stay in places…