Zika Virus was first identified in 1947 in Uganda and gets transmitted by the same mosquito that spreads yellow fever, Chikungunya and Dengue virus. Whenever a mosquito bites an infected person the virus gets transmitted and this further spreads the virus to other people through bites. The World Health Organization has declared Zika virus to be a global public health emergency. Thousands of babies are being born with underdeveloped brains due to infection from Zika virus. This virus has been declared to be pandemic in progress and women in affected countries have been advised to delay pregnancy.
The incubation period of Zika virus is from three to twelve days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. The symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis. A physical examination is conducted and even blood tests are carried out for diagnosis of the condition. The treatment as of now is related to symptom control and also to over-the-counter medication. Here are five effective ways in which one can protect oneself from Zika virus.
1. Use over-the-counter bug spray
Not all brands are equal when it comes to bug sprays. The repellents that consist of DEET are found to be more effective in comparison to those that consist of picaridin. Mosquito bites can be prevented with the use DEET repellants. Preventing the condition is better than actually having to treat it in first place. It is better to remain safe and prevent bites rather than be sorry.
2.Use specially-treated clothing
The military has been employing clothing that has been impregnated with Permethrin for decades. This chemical is a repellant offer shields against insects. This is now available to the consumers for controlling the spread of Zika virus. This lasts for up to seventy washing. The cloth has also been found to be effective against ticks. This technology is available widely. A liquid is also available online as well as in stores. This can be used to treat one’s own cloth for acting as a shield against insect bites.
3. Use of herbs and essential oils
Essential oils such as rose geranium, lemon and citronella are found to be effective in repelling insects. Mixing these oils and water and using in a spray bottle is found to be effective in keeping virus carrying mosquitoes at bay. Eating foods or chewing leaves of plants found in the Allium family is found to be quite effective in preventing bites that can prove to be fatal. Insects do not like the pungent odor emitted by chives and leeks. Having a strong breath is effective in keeping bugs away.
4. Wearing light colored-clothing and gear
Whether you are picking tent, sleeping bag or clothes, it is best to stay away from dark colors. Mosquitoes are attracted to dark color and they often try to bite through the fabric. It is better to wear light colored clothing when you are on a hiking trip or while camping. Remember to wear long-sleeve shirts and pant at dawn and dusk as this is the time when mosquitoes are found to be highly effective.
5. Practice safe sex and delay your pregnancy plans
Zika virus gets transmitted during sexual intercourse. Several cases of virus transmission through intercourse have been reported by Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. Hence, it is crucial to practice safe sex in order to prevent getting infected. It is also essential to consider pregnancy plans especially if you are residing in a zone which has been affected by the virus. This is crucial because birth defects have been noted in children who have been delivered by women affected by the zika virus. Brain deformities have been noted in newly born children due to the virus. It is better to speak to your doctor and weigh your options instead of taking a risk.
Zika virus has become a global emergency as per World Health Organization. It spreads through mosquito bites and by practicing unsafe sex. It is better to stay safe as the virus spread has been creating a massive impact on the health of individuals as well as on newly born babies from infected women. Practicing simple yet effective tips can prove out to be beneficial in protecting oneself from this deadly virus.