Scarsdale10583 Guide to Summer Camps and Activities for 2016
- Category: Shout it Out
- Published on 03 February 2016
- Written by Lori Gertzog
Though winter is still with us, the end of the school year is just months away – and now is a good time to consider summer plans for your children. Whether you've got a toddler, a tween or a teen, there are many great options for summer growth and fun within a drive from Scarsdale. Here are some local programs to consider for the summer of 2016.
For the Younger Set:
Beth El Day Camp has been the summer place to be for young children since 1951. Widely recognized as the best-in-class day camp in Westchester, Beth El remains the most fun, most trusted choice for young campers and their parents, year after year. Children from ages 2-7 love the sports, swimming in the pool, music, arts & crafts, singing, dancing, nature, storytelling, yoga, karate, and much more. Proudly ACA accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA), Beth El Day Camp is also known for its nurturing environment, cutting-edge programming, and commitment to safety. Beth El has the county's finest, best-trained professional staff, and a very favorable child/staff ratio. Whether this is your child's first camp experience or not, at Beth El everything begins with love and ends in fun. Spots fill up quickly so don't wait too long to sign up at www.betheldaycamp.org! For an appointment or questions, please contact Julie Rockowitz, Director at (914) 235-2700, ext. 256 or email@example.com.
Beth El Day Camp
1324 North Avenue
New Rochelle, NY 10804
Summer Scene at The Little School combines the fun of summer camp with early childhood learning in a structured, nurturing environment under the guidance of our acclaimed teachers. Children enjoy adventure filled days that incorporate active athletic play, swimming at the Scarsdale Pool, art projects, music, play centers and plenty of time outdoors. Each week features a different Theme Adventure or Special Event, creating added excitement and learning opportunities. Theme Adventures for 2016 include Freedom Rocks, Ocean Odyssey, In the Garden, Superhero Week (Scarsdale Fire and Police visit), Down on the Farm (animals visit KBLS), Strummin and Drummin (music event) and Jolly Roger Pirate Adventure (storyteller visits). This engaging agenda gives children a chance to expand their talents and interests, build self-confidence and create lasting friendships. The program is open to children 3 and 4 years of age. Our 7-week program runs Monday - Friday from June 25 - August 12. The Full Day program is 9-3, with a 9-1 half-day option for 3 year olds. Extended hours before and after camp are available from 7am - 6:30pm. Lunch and a healthy snack are provided each day. For more information, call 914.472.5409.
The Little School
307 Mamaroneck Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583
Scarsdale Synagogue's Summer Stars Summer Program is the perfect place for your child's first camp experience. This warm and nurturing program is a seven-week camp for children 18 months to 5 years old. The campers are engaged in activities such as sports, music, art, story time, daily water play and much, much more. There are special theme days each week such as Circus Day, Hawaiian Day or Carnival Day. At Summer Stars, friendships are formed and children grow socially, emotionally and intellectually as they engage in fun, stimulating summer activities. We offer a three-day option for Toddlers ages 18 to 30 months and Two year olds may choose 3 or 5 mornings a week. Three to Five year olds may choose a half-day 9:00-12:00 option. For more information, contact us at 914-723-3001 or visit our website at http://bit.ly/summerstars10583. 914-725-5175. The synagogue's main website can be found at: www.sstte.org
Scarsdale Synagogue Temples Tremont & Emanu-El
2 Ogden Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583
St. James The Less Fun In The Sun Summer Program is a morning program for children aged 2, 3, 4 or 5 year-old program or those entering kindergarten in the fall. Staffed by experienced nursery school teachers, Fun in the Sun Summer Program offers outdoor playgrounds, water tables and sprinklers plus music and movement, gym and yoga classes, arts and crafts and fun weekly themes. Directed by Cheryl Smith, the program runs from 9- 11:45 am, Monday through Thursday from June 27 to August 4. For the two's program, there is one counselor for every five campers and for the 3,4,5's, there is a 1 to 7 counselor camper ratio. Fees are $190 per week. For more information, contact Cheryl Smith, Director 914-723-1018 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fun In The Sun Summer Program
St. James the Less
Crane Road and Church Lane
Scarsdale, NY 10583
Westchester Reform Temple's "Summer Play Place Camp" offers young children a unique 7 week summer experience. The professional staff provides arts and crafts, water-play, stories, games, athletics and snack within a nurturing and loving environment. The 3's and 4's program is enhanced by specialists in music, movement and nature and special theme days. There are separation classes and classes with a loved one to stay as options for children who will be entering a 2's program in September. The little ones also enjoy crafts, water-play and music. Your children will learn, laugh and flourish. For information, please call 914-723-5493 or email email@example.com.
Westchester Reform Temple's "Summer Play Place Camp"
255 Mamaroneck Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583
Located on an expansive 18-acre property, Breezemont is nestled in its natural surroundings. The campus maintains large green fields, towering trees, and a beautiful lake, which is a unique feature for a day camp. Complete with state of the art facilities, Breezemont preserves the appearance of an overnight camp, while implementing a creatively robust day camp schedule. Ages 3-13 years old. Tours are provided 7 days a week. Please call 914-367-1936 or email Gordon@breezemont.com.
Breezemont Day Camp
62 Cox Avenue
Armonk, NY 10504
Elmwood is a day camp for children ages 3-11 years old. Their mission is for each child to discover, celebrate and be who he or she is supposed to be. They are the ideal size day camp for children. Small groups ensure that Elmwood campers are connected to each other and their counselors. Group size, experienced staff and the intentionally designed facility allows for children to be known and valued. They are able to make new friends, explore, challenge themselves and discover their passions.
Elmwood campers swim twice daily. The instructional swim period is built on the idea of small group instruction and individualized attention for each child.
Elmwood Day Camp's comprehensive programs in athletics, performing arts, visual arts, science, team building and electives are designed for participation, skill development and fun. The program reflects the changing developmental needs of children. Please call to arrange a visit: (914) 592-6121 or www.elmwooddaycamp.com.
Elmwood Day Camp
900 Dobbs Ferry Rd
White Plains, NY 10607
For over 40 years, the JCC of Mid-Westchester has introduced children to the joy of summer camping. They offer seven weeks of camps, with a five day per week or three day per week option, which is ideal for young campers. The day camp introduces campers to a variety of professionally led activities and weekly special events including instructional and recreational swim in our heated indoor pool (beginning with 3 year olds), gymnastics, a variety of different sports activities, arts & crafts, nature. They offer low staff to camper ratio and early drop off/late pick up. Unique to the JCC is its renowned Summer Arts Center (SAC) for the creative and independent child who is interested in the arts. Campers create a custom schedule of up to 20 different classes/week (4/day), all taught by professionals in the field. For campers grades 6 and up who are serious and experienced dance students, there is a comprehensive curriculum of dance and dance-related classes taught by professionals in the state of the art dance studios. The CIT/LIT programs offer teens the opportunity to gain hands-on counselor training and leadership experience with social action initiatives and weekly trips. CITs that successfully complete the program may be asked back for the following summer as junior counselors. Contact Caryn Symons, Director of Camping at 914-472-3300 x 412 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
JCC of Mid-Westchester
999 Wilmot Rd
Scarsdale, NY 10583
Camp Ramaquois, "A day camp as complete as sleep-away camp", situated on 44 magnificent acres in nearby Rockland County. From adventurous activities to creative arts to athletic activities, boys and girls, ages 3-15 experience a traditional day camp program filled with a variety of stimulating activities including instructional and general swim in nine heated pools and boating on a five-acre lake. Seven period programs planned for each age group include a splash park, aerial adventure park, climbing wall, flying squirrel with zip lines, tennis, basketball, volleyball, lacrosse, hockey, softball, soccer, recycling bin, ceramics, nature facility with petting zoo, dance, drama, yoga, special events and much more. Facilities include an air-conditioned indoor gym and group bunks with bathroom facilities. Hot lunch is served in an air-conditioned dining room by waiters and waitresses. Junior Camp for 3-6 year olds has a separate campus with age-appropriate activities and facilities. Ramaquois offers pre-teens and teens a regular camp program in combination with an optional Trail Blazers trip program. Day trips planned for 3rd–10th graders; overnight trips planned for 6th-10th graders; Leadership Program for 10th graders. Door to door air-conditioned mini-bus transportation is provided using professional CDL licensed school bus drivers and a bus counselor, who provides safety, as well as planned activities on the bus. Ramaquois is a magical camp where children experience a sense of adventure, meet new challenges, create wonderful memories and make lasting friendships. Visit at www.ramaquois.com or call 845-354-1600 to schedule a personal tour.
30 Mountain Rd
Pomona, NY 10970
The YWCA on North Street in White Plains offers an array of summer day camp programs: Camp Funkist (ages 4-15) provides non-competitive relaxing days of sports, swimming, visual arts, musical theater, nature, trips, and other age-appropriate summer activities. Intensive full-day Summer Gymnastics for girls and boys offers opportunities for gymnastics to hone their skills. Finally, the YWCA offers Summer Camp for Children with Developmental Disabilities, which is designed to complement extended school-year programs. Parents can also take advantage of summer swimming classes set up around vacation schedules. The YWCA has well-equipped indoor and outdoor facilities. Experienced and qualified staff-lead recreational and instructional swimming. For more information, click here or call:
Camp Funkist and Travel Camp (914) 949-6227 x168
Gymnastics Program (914) 949-6227 x135
Camp for Children with Developmental Disabilities (914) 949-6227 x108
515 North Street
White Plains, New York
Open the door to a delightful and meaningful summer of fun and learning for your bright, curious child. Challenge Camp, an ACA accredited camp in Rye, NY celebrating its 36th summer. Challenge is dedicated to providing meaningful opportunities for children aged 4-15 to realize their intellectual and personal potential. They offer over 100 enrichment courses range from 3D printing, architecture, art, chess, coding, cooking, drones, littleBits, magic, Minecraft, robotics, theater, and more. Sports options include Swimming and Fencing. Bus transportation, early/extended day and kosher lunch options available. Please join them for an Open House on Sunday February 28, 2-4PM at their location. For more information, click here or call (914) 779-6024.
School of the Holy Child
2225 Westchester Avenue
Rye, NY 10580
Be sure to make the Chelsea Piers Summer Sports Camps part of your family's plans this year! Chelsea Piers offers the area's most flexible day camps for kids aged 3 to 18. Your children will enjoy expert instruction and the area's most dynamic curriculum in the state-of-the art, air-conditioned facilities. Camp offerings include programs for preschoolers and beginner athletes, sport-specific developmental camps for elementary/middle school athletes, and elite sport-specific training for high school athletes.
Camps are available in the following sports: basketball, gymnastics, baseball, ice hockey, ice skating, lacrosse, soccer, Sports Academy (multi-sport), squash, swimming, dance, tennis and volleyball. Campers receive top-notch instruction in their core sports plus a daily recreational period that includes the Splash Zone Water Park & Aquatics Center, Jump & Climb Zone, Ice Rinks, Tennis, Field House and Batting Cages. Bus transportation from Pelham, New Rochelle, Rye and Harrison is available July 5 - 29! Visit the website below for updates on exact locations.
Summer Camp runs June 20 – September 2, and children can enroll in 1, 2 or more weeks. Register online at www.chelseapiersCT.com/camp, or call 203.989.1100. Early Birds that register by April 29, 2015 receive a discount off enrollment fees.
Chelsea Piers Summer Sports Camps
One Blachley Road
Stamford, CT 06902
Concordia Summer Camp offers exceptional summer programs for children ages 3 to 18. Programs include Enrichment, General Sports, Slam Dunk Basketball Camp, Musical Theatre, Rock/Pop Music, Piano, Suzuki Guitar and Violin, Chamber Music, Vocal, Songwriting and Composition and Art......and don't miss their water inflatable fun Fridays! All classrooms are air-conditioned. For more information, call 914/395-4848, or visit their website at www.concordiasummercamp.org.
Concordia Summer Camp
171 White Plains Road
The House of Sports is your one stop shopping for weekly sports camps this summer! From ages 3 years old through high school, the House of Sports offers programming for children of all ages and ability level. For our younger campers we offer a multi-sport camp that incorporates both learning and playing a variety of sports each day. For children in 3rd grade and older they also offer sport specific camps in lacrosse, basketball, soccer and baseball. All camps take place in our 100,000 sq.ft., climate controlled facility in Ardsley, and all camps are staffed by professional coaches and instructors. Log onto www.houseofsportsny.com or call 914-479-5419 to learn more!
House of Sports
1 Elm Street
Squire Advantage and Squire Sports Camps at Maria Regina High School in Hartsdale squires is celebrating its 43rd anniversary of operation! An open house and carnival is scheduled for Saturday March 12th from 1-4pm. There will be door prizes, bouncy houses, carnival games and food! Instructors and coaches will showcase their courses and tours will be given. Courses are taught in air-conditioned classrooms by certified teachers. Hot lunch is included and transportation is available. Squire Advantage Primary (grades K-3) and Advantage Choice (grades 4-9) is created for campers who wish to custom design their own schedule by choosing courses in the fields of swimming, computers, sports, fine arts, science, cooking, music and more. There are more than 50 different courses to choose from! Squire Sports Camps are divided into two different sports programs. Squire All Sports Academy (Ages 6-15) allows for instructing and playing of many different types of sports throughout the day. Sports include tennis, basketball, soccer, baseball, flag football, etc. Squire Tennis Academy (Ages 6-15) is a fun and challenging tennis experience designed for beginners to experienced players. Squire Camps programs run from June 27th until August 12th, 2016. Click here to visit their website or call (914) 328-3798 for more information.
Squire Advantage and Squire Sports Camps
Maria Regina High School
500 W Hartsdale Ave
Hartsdale, NY 10530
Westchester Skating Academy: Weekly camps for all ages and abilities. Mini Camp, designed for preschool through eight-year-olds, includes two daily skating lessons, plus nature, science, magic, soccer, and crafts from June 13-July 1 and Aug. 15-Sept. 2. Figure Skating Camp with Olympic coaches runs for 11 weeks beginning June 20th. Hockey Camp runs for nine weeks beginning July 5th and offers excellent player development. For more information, click here.
Westchester Skating Academy
91 Fairview Park Dr
Elmsford, NY 10523
And if you need help finding the right spot for your child, consider contacting a camp advisor:
Spectacular Summers: If you are thinking about camp or a teen program for your child for this summer or next, Ellen Wylie of Spectacular Summers would be happy to help you. Ellen has many years of experience in the industry and knows the camps and teen programs well. Every summer, Ellen personally visits and observes many camps while they are in session. During the rest of the year, she speaks to and meets with directors and obtains feedback from families she has placed. As a result, Ellen has the up-to-date knowledge and information to make the right recommendations for each child. She would be happy to share her personal knowledge and expertise with you. Ellen will gain a thorough understanding of your child and what you are looking for and then provide well-thought out suggestions. The service is free of charge to parents. Ellen is highly respected by camp directors and parents alike. To find that spectacular summer program for 2016 or 2017, call Ellen Wylie at (914) 722-2644 or email email@example.com. Visit her website here http://www.spectacularsummers.com.
Scarsdale Recreation Department day camp, sports camp and teen travel camp
Badger Day Camp: 119 Rockland Avenue, Larchmont
Camp Hillard: 26 Elizabeth Street, Scarsdale
Camp Mohawk: 200 Old Tarrytown Road, White Plains
Mount Tom Day Camp: 48 Mount Tom Road, New Rochelle
Spelling Bee Postponed, Schools Closed
- Category: Around Town
- Published on 05 February 2016
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
An unexpected snowstorm that began before dawn of Friday February 5 stopped Scarsdale in its tracks. An early email from the school said there would be a 2-hour delay. Later, a second email arrived announcing that school would be closed all day.
The Scarsdale Spelling Bee, scheduled for Friday night February 5 in the high school auditorium has also been postponed since the school is closed. The snow date is Friday night February 26 at 7:30 pm.
Westchester County To Pay $1.1 Million Penalty for Failure to Supply Safe Drinking Water
- Category: Neighborhood News
- Published on 02 February 2016
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
Westchester's own U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and the EPA have hit the county with a civil penalty of $1,108,771, the largest civil penalty ever imposed under the Safe Drinking Water Act on the operator of a public water system. Westchester County agreed to pay the fine for their non-compliance with regulations designed to treat the water supplied to Water District #1 that includes, Scarsdale, White Plains, Mount Vernon and Yonkers for Cryptosporidium. This parasite can cause severe gastrointestinal illness.
Since April 2012, the county was required to treat unfiltered surface water for Cryptosporidium which poses the greatest risk to young children, pregnant women and the elderly.
By signing the consent decree, the county admitted to failing to comply with the enhanced water treatment rule. Westchester is required to spend approximately $10 million in capital improvements to treat the water with UV light and while the improvements are in process the county will need to reduce the amount of non-compliant water supplied to Water District #1 and enhance monitoring of water from the Kensico Reservoir.
Commenting on the consent decree, Scarsdale's Deputy Village Manager Robert Cole said, "The Village of Scarsdale is appreciative of continuing efforts to ensure that our drinking water is subject to the highest standards of treatment. Importantly, maintaining and improving infrastructure is a fiscal challenge at all levels of government. Local, county, and state governments need to understand our collective infrastructure needs and prioritize investments such that our most critical needs are addressed first and in the most cost-effective manner. Varying levels of government need to genuinely work together to address infrastructure needs through coordinated planning and investment, thereby delivering the greatest taxpayer value and benefits. It is unfortunate when scarce infrastructure resources begin to get consumed by legal fees and penalties, rather than invested in our necessary projects."
In the meantime, Scarsdale is required to distribute information about the water issue in billing statement to residents and online at the Village website.
The insert assures residents that Scarsdale's water quality has not changed, saying, "Scarsdale drinking water users should be advised that water quality has not declined below the standard that water customers have enjoyed for decades – the supply is subject to the same water safety treatment protocols that have maintained drinking water in Scarsdale for many years, including appropriate chlorination to inactivate other organisms such as giardia, bacteria, and viruses."
However it does issue a warning to those with severely compromised immune systems, infants, pregnant woman and the elderly about drinking the water.
The EPA requires Scarsdale to let users know that "Inadequately treated water may contain disease-causing organisms. These organisms include bacteria, viruses, and parasites which can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and associated headaches."
As part of the consent decree, water samples from the Kensico Reservoir will continue to be collected on a weekly basis and tested for the presence of Cryptosporidium. This will go on until new UV treatment plants are opened at the Orchard Street Pumping Station and at the Central Avenue Pumping Station, both in White Plains. Work is expected to be completed at Orchard Street in May, 2017 and on Central Avenue in March, 2018.
Water in the Kensico Reservoir is currently monitored by the County as required by a consent decree between the County and the U.S. EPA. The test results are available on the County web site. Here is a link to the test report for December 2015.
Who will pay the fine? Robert Cole says, "Westchester County will decide which funding source to use for paying the fine. Of course, no matter the accounting, Westchester County taxpayers end up paying the fine, as County revenues are collected through a combination of taxes and fees charged to Westchester County residents."
Are you concerned about the quality of our water? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.
Photo from the CDC website
Shop the Dale for Valentine's Day
- Category: The Goods
- Published on 04 February 2016
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
Valentine's Day is just days away .... and village retailers have great gifts in store.Toast your valentine with Veuve Cliquot, or shower him or her with flowers, chocolate, personalized gifts, or jewels. Everything the heart desires can be found when you shop the dale for Valentines Day.
Say it with flowers: The Scarsdale Village Flower Shop has red, pink, lavender and white roses by the dozen along with orchids, lilly's and even fruit baskets. Prices start at $50 and they'll deliver your bouquet. Stop by the shop at 7 Harwood Court or call soon to order at 723-0852. Click here to select your gift.
RedGinji Jewelry by Rachel Chalchinsky, offers an international collection of hand made, one of a kind gold and silver jewelry set with precious and semi precious stones. Great original gifts for women and teens for Valentine's Day. Multiple styles: Bohemian, business chic, casual, vacation jewelry and Bat Mitzvah. RedGinji will have two shows open to the public in February.
Wednesday, February 10th at Houlihan Lawrence real estate office 32 Popham Rd Scarsdale
Monday, February 22nd at Skinny Buddha 6 Depot Place Scarsdale
Imagine Candy is your source for the most scrumptious and the most fun Valentines for friends, teachers, children, parents ... and lovers.
They offer a curated selection that ranges from Traditional Valentine Hearts filled with famous Belgian Chocolate Truffles to Chocolate Roses - available in bouquets and boxes; to the most amazing Caramels decorated with a Chocolate Heart... and very special hand painted Belgian Chocolate Hearts....
More possibilities for gifts at every budget ... Heart Pillows and Plush Pants, Hot Sipping Chocolate, Belgian Chocolate Pretzels, Giant Non-Pariel Heart Lollipops, Red Foiled Lips and Hearts, Cherries Soaked in Armagnac and dipped in Dark Chocolate, Heart Paperweights from Kenya, Emoji Heart Pillows, Red Foiled Slippers, Heart Mugs to fill with your favorite candy or chocolate ... and more.
Visit Imagine Candy at 22 Harwood Court in Scarsdale Village-914.723.7887, our Candy concierge is here to help you find the perfect Valentines.
Eye Gallery: Come see the new red pieces from Celine and Cutler and Gross at the Eye Gallery of Scarsdale! See and be seen in the latest eyewear from the Eye Gallery of Scarsdale, 8 Spencer Place, Scarsdale, (914) 472-2020, www.eyegalleryny.com.
Current Home: Who needs Cupid when you have Current Home? Beautiful acrylic art you can customize for the one you love plus a wide range of imaginative gifts and accessories. Current Home, 8 Palmer Avenue, Scarsdale, (914) 723-2462, www.currenthomeny.com.
Say "I Love You" with these beautiful Valentines gifts from La Dentelliere on East Parkway. Pictured here:
Stainless steel heart spoons $10 each
You Mean the World to Me book $14.95
Heart French Sugars $18.00
Heart glass candy dish $58
Heart Frame $48
Heart Scoop $52
Red Italian Pitcher $178
Manila Blahnik Book $150
La Dentelliere, 20 East Parkway, Scarsdale, (914) 725-2800, www.ladentelliere.com.
This year, gift her another type of rose.... sparking rosé! Zachys recommends Veuve Clicquot Rose, an elegant wine with a delicate "range of flavors, including white raspberry, spiced plum, pink grapefruit zest and a base note of a smoky minerality." Toast to your love with a bottle of bubbly! $58.99.
Zachys 16 East Parkway, Scarsdale, (914) 874- 8000, www.Zachys.com.
Student Hit at SMS, Fatality on Metro North Tracks
- Category: People
- Published on 02 February 2016
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
A Scarsdale Middle School students was hit by a car at 2:47 on Monday February 1. The 12 year-old boy was sitting on a curb in the school's parking lot on Mamaroneck Road when the driver of a 2005 Honda in the parking lot failed to see him and struck him. There were unconfirmed reports of damage to the boys leg and police do not believe the injuries were critical.
A fatality on the Metro North tracks at the Botanical Gardens station in the Bronx halted both the Harlem and New Haven lines on Tuesday evening and left thousands stranded at Grand Central.
A male student from Fordham Prep was struck by a northbound train at the station around 3:30 pm, in an apparent suicide. Since the New Haven and Harlem lines share the track at Botanical Gardens the fatality caused both lines to be shut down for a police investigation. The accident caused significant delays for passengers on both lines throughout the night. Metro North was back on schedule on Tuesday morning.
This is the second suicide for Fordham Prep in just two weeks. Another Fordham Prep jumped to his death in front of a Metro North train at Phillipse Manor two weeks ago.
And Now ... Zika
- Category: On Our Radar
- Published on 04 February 2016
- Written by Stacie M. Waldman
The recent scares from Ebola, SARS, Swine Flu, Bird Flu and now Zika have hit us with the realization that we are vulnerable to diseases from the third world.
Zika virus has been all over the news for the past couple of weeks and with each day there is more information about the virus. The Aedes mosquito has been causally linked to Zika virus but other modes of transmission are also being investigated. And this is happening right around the time that many people from our area are leaving the not-so-bitterly-cold winter behind and taking off for some fun in the sun in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, and other areas that have been affected by the virus.
There is still little known about the increasing spread and prevalence of the Zika virus. It appears that it may be linked to microcephaly in infants whose mothers had the virus during pregnancy as well as possibly Guillain-Barre Syndrome. The general population, however, is not severely affected by Zika virus in that only 20% of people are symptomatic. Signs and symptoms are generally mild and short-lasting and may include fever, rash, join pain, conjunctivitis, headache and muscle pain lasting a few days to a week.
There have been sporadic cases of people diagnosed with Zika virus in New York but all were infected outside of the country. Perhaps more alarming is the recent sexually transmitted case of Zika in Texas. A woman tested positive for Zika virus after having unprotected sex with an infected person who had traveled to a Zika-affected country. There are more people testing positive for Zika virus on a daily basis especially in Florida. Thus far, everyone affected had travelled, but Florida is one of the places that houses populations of the vector mosquito. A person gets infected with Zika after a mosquito ingests virus laden blood from an infected person and then transmits it to its next host.
Dr. Judy Stone, an infectious disease specialist, cautioned that if Zika adapts to the Asian Tiger Mosquito, people in 32 states in the U.S. could be at significant risk for the virus. This type of mosquito can adapt to colder temperatures by becoming dormant in the cold months.
Dr. Fred Bomback, a local and well-respected pediatrician, said, "Some pregnant women are worried. If I know someone is pregnant or planning on getting pregnant I would strongly recommend not going at this time to an area where Zika has been confirmed."
The CDC has issued a travel warning for women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant to countries affected by Zika. To date, those countries include most of Central America (Belize is safe!), much of the Caribbean including the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, Mexico, Cape Verde, Samoa, and all of South America except for Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, and Peru. Only necessary travel is recommended in places affected with Zika virus until more is known about transmission and the effect the virus may have on the fetus. If a pregnant woman must travel to these areas, strong precautions are suggested to avoid mosquito bites including using EPA-registered insect repellant, wearing long sleeves and pants, and staying inside as much as possible in a place with screens on the windows.
Dr. Peter Piot, the scientist who discovered Ebola, is very concerned about the explosive outbreak of Zika in the Americas. In a recent BBC interview, (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03h7056) he said the top priority needs to be establishing proof that Zika is causing birth defects. After that a good diagnostic test needs to be developed as well as a vaccine. In the meantime, effective mosquito control must be sought. Even with an effective test for the virus, however, who would be tested? Only a minority of people experience detectable symptoms and many mimic other diseases including the flu and the common cold.
A popular OB/GYN affiliated with WESTMED Medical Group said that he is being asked a lot of questions about Zika virus. He is following the CDC suggested travel warnings- advising that pregnant women or those contemplating getting pregnant refrain from travelling to Zika-affected areas. "Until we know more, I think women should heed the travel warning. Why are we seeing so much more of this virus than in the past? Is Zika virus actually causing microcephaly in babies? We are still lacking much information about this virus," he said.
He has also had patients ask how long they should wait after coming back from an affected area to get pregnant. "A lot of people have been saying one to two months is probably sufficient," he said. "The virus does not linger in the bloodstream for very long." He's getting calls from patients who have been invited to weddings and bachelorette parties in affected areas and most who are pregnant or thinking of getting pregnant are postponing or canceling their trips.
For now, the doctor's staff asks patients if they've traveled recently to any of the countries on the CDC list of places with Zika virus. "But if they have, and if they're pregnant," he said, "testing is not so easy. Your doctor can't just order a blood test. It has to be approved by the health department and certain criteria must be met in order to be a candidate for testing."
"From a pregnancy perspective," he continued, "you may not be able to pick up any of the defects until late in the pregnancy and by that time there's not much you can do for it. In my mind, one of the scary parts of this virus potentially causing birth defects is that you may not be able to detect any abnormality at the point that the pregnancy could be terminated if desired." He also cautioned that abortions could increase unnecessarily.
For now, the most updated and trusted source of evidence-based information about Zika virus can be found on the CDC websites.