Currently, there is no vaccine or treatment for the Zika virus. What’s the best way to protect yourself? Use preventative measures.
1.Use The Right Repellent
The CDC recommends repellents with active ingredients DEET, picaridin, eucalyptus or IR 3535. Thus far, DEET has not been found to have harmful side effects to people, including pregnant women.
The CDC also recommends avoiding non-registered repellents such as citronella, cedar, peppermint, geranium or peppermint oil.
2.Apply Bug Spray Correctly
- Do not put it on under clothes.
- Do not put on open wounds.
- Spritz on ankles and feet. (This particular mosquito is attracted to these parts.)
- For children: Spray on your own hands and then on their skin. Don’t use a repellent with a 30% or higher concentration of DEET. Do not apply on infants younger than 2 months. Children, younger than 3, should not use oil of lemon eucalyptus.
3.Use Your Clothes As A Repellent
Wear baggier long pants and long sleeves. You can get extra protection by using clothes containing permethrin. This is a synthetic insecticide proven safe for children and pregnant women. Avoid Spandex as mosquitos can bite through them. Make sure your shoes cover your feet completely. Use a hat and sunglasses.
4.Guard Your Home
The mosquito-specific for the Zika virus feed during the daylight hours, then heads inside your house for shade. Only 1 TBS of water is enough to breed 300 mosquitos. Eliminate standing water both outside and inside of your home. They will breed in your toothbrush cup or even in a small puddle of water left on your counter. The chlorine in pools, however, deter their breeding.
5.It’s Time For Indoor Exercising
Heat and carbon dioxide both attract mosquitos. Your body naturally gives these off, but more so during exercise.
6.Be A Smart Traveler
First and foremost, avoid affected areas. The CDC regularly updates both countries and localities with active Zika virus transmission. If you find yourself in such an area, sleep under mosquito netting.