Everything You Must Know About Zika This Summer
As summer approaches and the mosquito season begins, the mosquito-borne Zika Virus will probably be hitting the headlines with statistics of the number of people it has affected. Luckily, you won’t be among the statistics.
Read this brief article and you will be well informed about everything you should know about Zika this summer and how you can protect yourself from it.
What is Zika and how is it transmitted?
Zika is a mosquito borne virus related to yellow fever, dengue, and the west Nile virus. Transmission of Zika is mainly through the Aedes mosquito. This virus is transmitted when an Aedes mosquito bites an infected individual and thereafter spreads it by biting other uninfected people.
Zika can also be transmitted through having sexual intercourse with infected individuals. Statistics shows that the possibility of contracting this virus through oral sex is also high based on one’s potential case, but this is yet to be scientifically proved.
So, what can you do to protect yourself from Zika this summer?
Considering the fact that no vaccine or treatment for this virus has been discovered, the only way for protecting yourself from Zika this summer is through adopting preventive measures such as:
1. Deserting from traveling to areas that are known to have an active infestation. According to the list given by WHO (World Health Organization), some of the most affected areas include Central America, Caribbean, South America, the Pacific Islands, and the United States territories including Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
2. Avoiding mosquito bites – make sure that you sleep under a treated mosquito net. Also, wear clothes that cover you as much as possible, especially if you are wearing light colored clothes.
3. Using insect repellents – In addition to sleeping under a treated net, spray your bedrooms with insect repellant having the following ingredients; IR 3535, DEET or Icaridin. Note: Strictly use these products as per the manufacturer’s instruction.
4. Avoiding unprotected sex with affected individuals or those individuals who have been to a Zika infested area. In fact, WHO recommends that people who have visited Zika prone areas to abstain from sex for about 4 weeks after they have returned back home.
What are the symptoms of Zika?
Some of the symptoms of this virus include headaches, pink eye, fever as well as rashes.
Who should not travel to Zika affected areas this summer?
If you are pregnant, especially in the first trimester; you are advised to avoid traveling to areas affected by Zika. This is mainly because Zika is closely connected to microcephaly (a neurological disorder that affects infants). The virus can cause severe abnormal development issues in the infant and in extreme cases it can be fatal.