What is Zika Virus?
The Zika Virus, identified in Uganda in 1947, is most commonly known to be spread by mosquito bites. Oftentimes, most people are unaware they’re carrying the virus. Common symptoms of the virus appear as mild and flu-like and can include fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis. Most symptoms last for several days, and the virus remains in the blood of an infected person for about a week, which can often cause the infected person to become immune to the virus.
Although this may seem relatively harmless, there is a big cause for concern. The Zika Virus dangerously affects pregnant women, causing birth defects, such as microcephaly, visual and audio difficulties, and impaired growth of an unborn child. If you’re pregnant or traveling to or living in an area that’s experiencing an outbreak, there are preventive measures you can take to protect yourself from becoming infected.
5 Tips to decrease your chances of contracting Zika:
- Cover your body when going outside. Wear long sleeves, long pants, and closed-toe shoes.
- Treat your items with permethrin, or purchase pre-treated items.
- When going outside, use insect repellent. Repellents that contain the ingredients DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or oil from Lemon / Eucalyptus / Para-methaine-idol work best.
- Stay indoors in a climate-controlled area, with the windows and screen doors closed.
- Use mosquito netting around cribs and sleeping areas.
Following these simple steps will help decrease the chances of contracting the Zika Virus. If you feel like you’ve already been infected, please take the time to go see your doctor and have your blood tested.