What You Need to Know about the Zika Virus and Mosquitoes
If you have been keeping up with the news, then you may have heard about the spread of the Zika virus. As with any disease, it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction. For your benefit, here are a few basic facts about the Zika virus and how you can avoid getting it.
How Does Zika Spread?
The primary way in which the Zika virus spreads is through mosquito bites. Currently, there has been no evidence that mosquitoes within the continental United States have the virus. All reports have been of people travelling within the U.S. who contracted the virus from other places, from the Aedes aegypti mosquito in particular.
How to Avoid Mosquito Bites
The best way to prevent yourself from getting the virus is to avoid getting bitten by a mosquito. Even if the mosquito in question does not have the Zika virus, mosquitoes have been known to spread numerous other diseases, so it is preferable to just avoid these pests altogether. Here are a few tips for avoiding getting mosquito bites:
- Be sure to drain all standing water on your property.
- Avoid being outside during dawn and dusk.
- Use repellent to defend against mosquitoes.
- Wear long sleeves and pants.
- Use screens on your doors and windows and make sure they are in good working condition.
The Risk to Pregnant Women
The Zika virus poses a significant risk to women who are currently pregnant. Zika has been linked to birth defects in newborns, particularly a condition known as microcephaly. For this reason, it is recommended that pregnant women delay trips to areas with the Zika virus until more information about this virus can be obtained. If you are pregnant and absolutely must travel to one of these areas, then talk to your healthcare provider to get additional tips for avoiding contracting the virus.
The Zika virus may seem scary, but with a few simple precautions, you will have less to worry about. You can talk to your doctor for more information about what exactly the virus does and what you can do to limit your risk.