Summer activities are in full swing. That means lots of time outdoors, hiking, picnicking and lots of other activities that make us vulnerable to mosquitos. Infected Aedes mosquitos can transmit Zika virus and other viruses. This mosquito is most active during the day. The best way to prevent Zika infection is to do everything we can to prevent mosquito bites.
Protect yourself y using an Environmental Protection Agency registered insect repellant that includes DEET, Picaridin, Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or IR3535. These insect repellants are safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women when used as directed on the label. You can also wear long sleeve shirts and long pants. Spraying your clothing with Permethrin insect repellant is also helpful. If you need to use sunscreen and insect repellant, remember to apply the sunscreen first.
At home you can keep mosquitos out by using screens on your windows. Empty and clean containers that hold water in and around your yard because mosquitos lay their eggs near standing water.
Pregnant women, or those trying to conceive, should not travel to areas at high risk for Zika. In the US Brownsville, Texas and Miami-Dade County, Florida are high risk areas. Get more information from the the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
The symptoms of the Zika virus are usually mild flu like symptoms, fever, rash, joint pain, red eyes, muscle pain and headache that lasts a few days to a week. Zika can cause birth defects in fetuses infected before birth. If you think you might have been infected with Zika virus, contact your physician.