There is much attention at the moment concerning the Zika virus, the media is hyping it to be a potential global threat give or take several countries! So without having to sell up everything and move to those few places not affected, here are some of the key points and tips that should provide people with enough information to help ensure that they can still carry on with their travel plans and not worry too much about contracting the virus.
So without having to sell up everything and move to those few places not affected, here are some of the key points and tips that should provide people with enough information to help ensure that they can still carry on with their travel plans and not worry too much about contracting the virus.
Symptoms of Zika Virus
Zika virus infection arises about 10 days after a bite from an infected mosquito, symptoms including Fever, rash, joint pain, headache and conjunctivitis, most mild symptoms lasting for several weeks.
A Few Facts
The Zika virus is carried by the same mosquitoes as the Dengue fever and Chikungunya virus, known as the Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes.
There has recently been a large outbreak in Latin America with many women reported having given birth to babies suffering from Microcephaly, a condition in which the baby is born abnormal smallness of the head, a congenital condition associated with incomplete brain development. The mosquito itself can be identified by the white spots that it has on its body, for anyone who gets close enough to see one.
Cautions and Precautions
For those people looking to travel to more tropical destinations, there are several things that can be done to help limit and prevent the contraction of the Zika virus.
As with Dengue, the mosquitoes that carry the virus tend to only come out at dawn and dusk. These times can be avoided; however if venturing out, make sure that your body is covered using long sleeved clothes and trousers to help prevent being bitten.
As well as this, After the rain is also a popular time for mosquitos to feast. Be conscious of places that are dark, or areas that are around sitting water (non-circulating), these areas are mosquito’s favourite places to lay eggs and hide out. Mosquitoes dislike air conditioning and the cold, so to help prevent mosquitoes coming into your room, keep the air conditioning on and windows closed! If you prefer fresh air, use netting over the window.
When using mosquito repellent, use a spray that contains at least 50% Deet or Picaridin which should last for around 8 hours after use. With such a high content of deet, the liquid normally feels quite oily on the skin and can always be washed off once inside.
When using sun block, apply any repellent after you have applied your sun block, and spray on top of your clothing and not underneath it. There are also brands of sunblock containing repellent which is super helpful! Never use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old and check any instructions on the bottle before applying to children older than this. Ensure that babies’ cots or strollers are always covered during those times that mosquitos are most present. It I also important to recognise that a person with the Zika virus is still contagious within the first week of contracting it, meaning virus can be spread from the person being bitten by a mosquito to another person. To prevent others contacting the virus and its spreading, ensure that within this first week you do not get bitten and stay covered up and protected.
No Need to Panic
With health organizations saying it will take several years to research Zika and airlines providing pregnant women free flight changes away from Zika hotspots, it will always play on peoples minds and make them panic and worry, but if people take the necessary precautions, are vigilant and careful, there is no reason why this has to inhibit your travel plans and keep you locked up at home!
As with the Dengue virus, similar rules apply. So cover up, don’t forget to protect yourself with a 50% deet spray and be careful at the prime times for the mosquitoes and everybody should be happy and healthy and enjoying their time abroad without any problems.