What Can I Do To Protect Myself From Zika Virus?
In the wake of Zika virus outbreak reports in different parts of the world, the World Health Organization has warned that the mosquitoes, Aedes Aegypti and Aedes Albopictus that are responsible for spreading Zika as well as Chikungunya and Dengue will easily find their way to other parts of the world. This means that nobody is safe from the virus and only precautions can help you protect yourself from the virus. Areas that are elevated and experience colder climates such as Canada and Chile might be exceptional because the cold weather prevents the breeding of the mosquitoes but chances cannot be taken.
With reports indicating that this virus can also be transmitted sexually, it becomes even more critical for people to take precautions even with blood transfusions. The virus may not be deadly and does not even lead to hospitalization but the possible complications, especially on unborn babies is what makes it worth taking precautions for. Luckily, whether you are in an area where the outbreaks have been reported or you are a frequent traveler that is starting to get worried about the Zika disease, there are simple precautions that you can take to keep yourself protected.
1. Before making any travel plans, consult to get update information about the spread of the virus. Disease control bodies are keen on the virus and will definitely have the latest updates that can help you plan your travel accordingly.
2. If pregnant or planning to get pregnant, then it is wise for you to avoid travelling to the areas that are experiencing active virus circulations. The close link between Zika virus and microcephaly means that your unborn baby could be at risk, hence the need to limit your travel to keep the fetus protected.
3. In case you do decide to travel even to the areas that have active outbreaks, ensure that you take with you an ample supply of quality mosquito repellants. The best are the varieties that contain DEET chemical; look for at least 40% and higher when buying. Apart from the repellants, you should also consider covering your skin as much as possible using long sleeved shirts and pants and keep a mosquito net handy.
4. If possible treat clothing and other items with a good repellent and if you must use sunscreen, then ensure that you apply it first before you apply the repellent onto your skin. Applying the repellent before the sunscreen will not do much in keeping you protected hence the need to start with the sunscreen.
5. Keep your windows and doors fully shut if you are staying in areas that are affected. Considering that the Aedes mosquito is active even during the day, it would be a good idea to consider installing screens on your windows and doors to keep the mosquito out during the day.
6. Put in measures around your home or workplace to reduce mosquito breeding grounds. Eliminate all standing water and items that can collect water to create the perfect breeding areas for the mosquitoes.
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