Mosquito Bites & the Zika Virus

With the 4th of July coming up and people being outside having bbq’s and watching the fireworks I thought I would address the seriousness of mosquito bites and the Zika Virus.

What is the Zika Virus? It’s a virus that is spread thru a mosquito bite. Symptoms of the virus are: joint pain, rash, fever, and conjunctivitis. It is usually a mild illness with symptoms lasting several days up to a week. Hospitalization due to severe illness is uncommon and deaths from the illness are really rare.

The CDC says we shoud be concerned about the Virus because it can cause birth defects in babies that are born to women that were infected with the virus while they were pregnant.

How to prevent mosquito bites according to the CDC:

Here is what the CDC suggests.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Take steps to control mosquitoes inside and outside your home.
  • Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are overseas or outside and are not able to protect yourself from mosquito bites.sunsc
  • 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. Choosing an EPA-registered repellent ensures the EPA has evaluated the product for effectiveness. When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breast-feeding women.
    • Always follow the product label instructions.
    • Reapply insect repellent as directed.
    • Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing.
    • If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen before applying insect repellent.
  • To protect your child from mosquito bites:
    • Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old.
    • Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol on children younger than 3 years old.
    • Dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs.
    • Cover crib, stroller, and baby carrier with mosquito netting.
    • Do not apply insect repellent onto a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, and cut or irritated skin.
    • Adults: Spray insect repellent onto your hands and then apply to a child’s face.
  • Treat clothing and gear with permethrin or purchase permethrin-treated items.
    • Treated clothing remains protective after multiple washings. See product information to learn how long the protection will last.
    • If treating items yourself, follow the product instructions carefully.
    • Do NOT use permethrin products directly on skin. They are intended to treat clothing.

 

The CDC suggests the following for pregnant women:

  • Pregnant women should not travel to any area where Zika virus is spreading.
  • Pregnant women who must travel to one of these areas should talk to their doctor first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the trip.
  • Women trying to become pregnant, and their male partners, should consult with their doctor before traveling to these areas and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the trip.
  • Zika virus can be spread by a man to his sexual partners. Men who have lived in or traveled to an area with Zika and who have a pregnant partner should either use condoms or not have sex (vaginal, anal, or oral) during the pregnancy.

Here is more info on the Zika virus:

  • No vaccine exists to prevent Zika virus disease (Zika).
  • Zika virus is mostly spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Prevent Zika by avoiding mosquito bites .
  • Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus bite mostly during the daytime.
  • Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus also spread dengue and chikungunya viruses.
  • Zika virus can be spread during sex by a man infected with Zika to his sex partners.

I encourage everyone to please take the precautions suggested by the CDC to lessen the chance of contacting the Zika virus.

 

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One thought on “Mosquito Bites & the Zika Virus

  1. Pingback: 4th of July concerns for Zika – Mosquito Squad of West Michigan and Grand Rapids

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