Cooper John Feild shares a timely update on Zika and preventing mosquito bites.
Zika virus is the latest of mosquito-borne illnesses to hold a commanding presence in the news. This is with good reason; as of only days ago, suspicions that Zika can cause microcephaly in newborns were confirmed. It is known that Zika can also be spread from mother to child while the child is a fetus or at the time of birth, and it can also be spread through sexual contact. Worrisome for any traveler is that Zika can also be spread through the bite of Aedes species mosquitoes.
With this in mind, the CDC suggests the following measures for avoiding the bites of Aedes species mosquitoes:
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
- Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are overseas or outside and are not able to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
- Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol.
- Treat clothing and gear with permethrin or purchase permethrin-treated items.1
Aedes species mosquitos are responsible for other illnesses, including but not limited to dengue fever, yellow fever, and chikungunya.2 With such a devastating effect on global health, there have even been suggestions that we cause a forced extinction of some Aedes species…3