The Zika virus is now a risk worldwide in warmer climates—but it can be prevented.
- If your room is not well screened and air conditioned, use a bed net when sleeping or resting.
- Mosquitoes can live indoors and will bite at any time, day or night.
- Use an EPA-registered insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. We recommend a minimum of 30% DEET.
- Always follow the directions on the bottle.
- Do not spray repellent under clothing.
- If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second.
- When used as directed, these insect repellents are proven safe and effective even for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
- Most repellents, including DEET,
can be used on kids older than 2 months. Mosquito netting can be used to cover babies <2 months
- Zika can be passed through sex. Bring male or female condoms with you when traveling. Use condoms during and after travel to protect yourself and your partner.
- If you are pregnant, use condoms for the rest of your pregnancy.
- Not having sex eliminates the risk of getting Zika through sex.
- Spray your clothing and gear with permethrin to help protect you from mosquito bites or bring pre-treated items.
- Always follow the directions on the bottle. Reapply as directed.
- Do not spray permethrin on your skin.
- Long sleeves and long pants help protect against Zika.
The Zika Virus Prevention Kit is now available from Travel Medicine, Inc.
Remember, the Zika virus is transmitted by daytime-biting mosquitoes. There is no vaccine or nor is there a specific treatment once infected. The main threat is to a fetus (severe brain damage). Adults usually experience only mild symptoms, but Guillain-Barré Syndrome can sometimes occur.
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