What we know about the Zika virus, and what is being done to combat it, changes almost daily. Here are some things you need to know, and actions you can take.
You Can Avoid Zika
The best way to prevent Zika continues to be avoiding travel to countries in which the virus is known to occur. Check the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and World Health Organization (WHO) for travel advisories.
How Zika Virus is Diagnosed
Should you have to travel to Zika-prone locations, you may wish to have your doctor do a blood or urine test for the disease upon your return. Many people infected with Zika exhibit no symptoms, or mild symptoms that can be mistaken for other illnesses.
Zika, Sex, and Pregnancy
The suspected link between Zika virus and human birth defect microcephaly appears to be solid. It is imperative that one consider this before engaging in sexual behavior. Zika can be transmitted sexually. Consult CDC guidelines if you or your partner has been exposed to Zika, or you are considering having a child. Follow recommended waiting periods.
Take Action at Home
Two mosquitoes that transmit Zika occur here. Asian Tiger Mosquito ranges over the eastern half of the U.S. north to southern Iowa and New York City. Yellow Fever Mosquito is found in the Gulf Coast states, plus South Carolina, Georgia, and scattered locations in Southwestern states and California. Both species breed in still water, so drain standing water outdoors, remove or dump all objects that can collect rainwater, clean gutters, and encourage neighbors to take such actions as well.
Use Approved, Effective Insect Repellents
Tender Corporation is pleased to announce that a recent study by Consumer Reports found Ben’s® 30% Deet Tick & Insect Wilderness Formula to be among the best performing brands on the market. For a DEET-free insect repellent, Natrapel provides 12 hours of protection from biting insects, thanks to its CDC-recommended 20% Picaridin formula. Duration of effectiveness is key, with Ben’s lasting about seven hours. Follow application instructions exactly for best results. Long pants, longsleeve shirts, and hats help protect against bites, too. Mosquitoes are most active in shady areas, on cool, overcast days, and in morning and evening.