If you have tropical vacation plans, you might have a few concerns about potentially contracting an illness. Unless you’re doing some extreme survival exercise, you’re likely to avoid exposure to such things as Dengue fever and Leprosy. The Zika Virus, however, is a fast-spreading disease that has many people concerned. Here is some information about Zika and some helpful tips to keep you safe from its bite during your next warm-climate vacation.
The Dangers of Zika
The Zika virus is a disease transmitted by the Aedes mosquito. The disease was first identified in the 1940’s, but its spread has accelerated in the past several years. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Zika virus cases have been reported in 62 countries and territories since 2007. In the United States, every state has reports of the Zika Virus, but all are travel-related except for Florida, where there are 43 locally-acquired cases.
When infected, most people begin feeling ill within a few days. Symptoms include fever, muscle and joint pain, skin rash, and headache. There is also evidence to suggest that the virus can cause permanent nerve damage through a condition called Guillain-Barré syndrome. The virus is most dangerous for pregnant women or couples who wish to become pregnant, as Zika is believed to cause microcephaly in unborn children. If you’re planning a trip, here is what you can do to protect yourself and your family.
How to Zika-Proof Your Vacation
No one wants to put a damper on your vacation. Even if you have plans to visit an area that has Zika cases, you likely won’t need to change your itinerary. The only reason that you may wish to consider a change in plans is if a family member is pregnant of if you want to become pregnant in the near future. If either is the case, have a frank discussion with your physician about your trip plans. Otherwise, here’s how you can keep mosquitoes at bay on your upcoming trip:
Wear the right clothing. Wearing long sleeves and long pants can help. Taking waterborne disease prevention a step further, there are now companies specializing in insect repellent-treated clothing.
Choose the right insect repellent. You absolutely need to wear insect repellent, but not all products are created equal. There are several that do work, however, and the organic compound from Intelligent Nutrients is a safe bet.
Apply insect repellent properly. It’s not enough to splash some repellent on you and your kids; rather it needs to be applied correctly to properly protect you from Zika. Put your sunscreen on first, and then your insect repellent. Always remember to coat your hands and feet and don’t wear insect repellent under your clothes. Follow your product’s particular instructions for re-application.
Other Infectious Disease Prevention Measures
There are some other things that you can do to prevent infectious diseases, such as Zika and Malaria, include getting rid of any standing water around your residence or vacation area and spending more time indoors. Granted, no one wants to take a vacation and spend time inside but perhaps the hottest parts of the day. However, those daytime hours when the Aedes mosquito is most active would be the perfect time for a break.
Most people love to travel, and warm climates are popular destinations. If you choose to visit one of these locales, your best defense against the Zika virus and its consequences is to employ methods to prevent bites from infected mosquitos from ever occurring.