Zika Virus Preventative Tips

Zika Virus Preventative Tips

The Zika virus has recently been in the news for its rapid spread through Brazil and now, potentially neighboring countries which has some fearing a pandemic. Spread by the Aedes mosquitoes, Zika causes neurological problems and birth defects.

It is alleged that this virus has been caused by the insecticide company Oxitec which, in an attempt to fight dengue fever, built a genetically modified mosquito farm in Brazil in 2012. Three years later, in 2015 the GM mosquitos were released into the wild declaring a success in beginning to lower illness rates.

However, throughout the year, 4,000 cases of the Zika virus were reported within the radius of the released GM mosquitos. In 2014, only 146 cases were reported.

According to Michael Reilly, author of an article in MIT Technology Review titled, “This Is How to Stop the Zika Virus,”

“Genetically modified mosquitoes could also have a role to play. Successful tests in the Cayman Islands and Brazil have shown that the introduction of modified male mosquitoes can cause local populations to crash.”

Recently several cases have been documented in America. Natural News reports that, according to Dr. Larry Madoff, director of the Division of Epidemiology and Immunization at the Department of Public Health,

“We are aware of one case in Massachusetts, a person who had traveled to an area where we already know Zika is being transmitted,”

The infected American is expected to recover, however, the public should remain vigilant in adhering to these Zika virus preventative tips, especially if someone is pregnant or has traveled to South America and the Caribbean aka the “hot zone”.

Preventative Action

It is best to err on the side of caution and begin a preventative protocol to avoid this incurable disease.

Be Aware of Mosquitos – Even though the Zika virus has been a rare sighting in the US, as the warmer months begin to arise so too will the mosquito population. Therefore, avoiding mosquitos altogether is the first and best approach.

Slather it On – Make sure you cover yourself in natural insect repellant. This is imperative if you are pregnant as synthetic insect repellants can be too toxic.

Cover Up – If you are hiking, particularly near lake beds, staying adequately covered is essential.

Oil It – Certain essential oils can repel mosquitos. Use one or more of these oils to add to the wash so they permeate clothing as well as apply to vulnerable body parts such as the arms, legs, face, etc.

  • Cedar
  • Citronella
  • Clove
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lavender
  • Lemongrass

Keep it Light – Mosquitos are reported to be attracted to dark colors so when the season changes take out your colorful garbs.

Boost Your Furnace

Strengthening your immune system is always a good idea especially if there are some new health concerns floating around. If you are firing on all cylinders, there is a good chance you may be able to ward off becoming vulnerable through illness and then being susceptible to something like the Zika virus.

Implement some or all of these daily habits as recommended by Harvard Health Publications through Harvard Medical School:

  • Don’t smoke.
  • Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in saturated fat.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Control your blood pressure.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  • Get adequate sleep.
  • Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.
  • Get regular medical screening tests for people in your age group and risk category.

In addition, boosting supplementation especially during seasonal transitioning is essential. The supplements to concentrate on, also recommended by Harvard, are: Vitamin A,B,C,D,E, zinc and selenium.

Sexual Transmission

The obvious precautions that apply to avoiding the Zika virus is to stay away from the “hot zone” region. It was also found that even though a person does not test positive for Zika through blood tests, the virus has been found in semen. Therefore, it is highly essential to practice safe sex and avoid having sex altogether with anyone who has traveled to the “hot zone”.

These Zika virus preventative tips could help keep you out of harms way. Remain aware as the weather changes and stay informed as daily information continues.