Cart 0

Consumer Reports: Zika Virus Prevention Advice: How Good Is It?

Posted by Stuart Rose on

In their May 2016 newsletter "On Health" ConsumerReports tested a number of insect repellents "That Best Protect Against Zika." Their top-rated pick was Sawyer 20% Picaridin (a non-DEET repellent). OFF! Deepwoods VIII (25% DEET) was also recommended. These repellents provided about 8 hours of protection. The travel medicine community recommends using at least 30% DEET repellent when traveling to areas where there are serious insect-transmitted diseases. Ironically, when West Nile Virus came to the US 15 years ago, CR rated Ultrathon (33% DEET) the most effective (12 hours of protection). which is 4 hours longer acting than any of the repellents in the current study. Ultrathon is widely available nationwide and online.

Consumer Reports also did not test any maximum-strength DEET products, e.g., MAXI DEET or Ben’s 100 Max Formula; these give 10 hours of protection.

Also, not mentioned by CR, people traveling to areas with Zika Virus will also need protection against other related viruses (dengue fever, chikungunya) that cause more severe (and sometimes fatal) disease in non-pregnant travelers, and they may also need protection against malaria.

The bottom line: Longer-lasting protection against mosquitoes transmitting Zika Virus and other infections is provided by repellents not mentioned by Consumer Reports.

Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →

Leave a comment