Zika Virus Prevention: How to Protect Yourself and Avoid Infection

Virus Prevention

10 Simple Strategies for Zika Virus Prevention

Zika is an increasing and very real threat to global health, with serious associated risks – that’s why it’s more important than ever to educate yourself on Zika virus prevention. Understanding the danger of Zika and practising safe avoidance, protection and prevention methods can ensure that you and your loved ones stay as safe as possible from the virus. Here are 10 strategies for Zika virus protection and avoidance to keep in mind:

1. Stay Informed of Zika Reports

Knowing where cases of Zika are being reported is a fundamental step in Zika virus prevention. Make sure to monitor reputable news sources and government websites regularly in order to stay up to date on the latest information, and avoid any areas which have become known hotspots for Zika.

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2. Wear Protective Clothing

If you are visiting an area where Zika is present, it’s important to cover up with protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks. Clothing is one of your most effective forms of defence against infected mosquitos, so make sure you are covered as much as possible.

3. Use Insect Repellents

Insect repellents are one of the most powerful tools in your Zika infection prevention arsenal. Make sure you use one that contains strong active ingredients such as DEET or picaridin. Remember to apply generously and often, making sure you apply it to all exposed parts of the body.

4. Sleep Under Nets and Screens

If you’re sleeping outside, it’s important to take extra precautions against mosquitos, such as using a mosquito net. If you’re in a hot climate and don’t have access to a net, then using mosquito screens on windows and doorways can help protect you.

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5. Clear Away Nearby Standing Water

Mosquitos need standing water to reproduce, so it’s important to ensure that any standing water around your home is cleared away or made inaccessible. This includes flower pots, buckets, tyres and other containers that may contain pools of water.

6. Install Air Conditioning

Mosquitos are particularly fond of hot climates, so installing air conditioning can make an area less attractive to them. Additionally, if you want to sleep outside, then the cool air of air conditioning can help to make it much more comfortable while also keeping the mosquitos at bay.

7. Seek Treatment if Necessary

If you have been infected with Zika and are experiencing symptoms, it is essential to get professional medical attention as soon as possible. Prompt diagnosis and treatment of Zika can help to reduce the severity of the illness and prevent further complications.

8. Practice Safe Sex

In the majority of cases, Zika is contracted through mosquito bites. However, it is still possible for it to be transmitted through unprotected sex. To avoid the risk of transmission, it is important to always practice safe sex if you have been in a Zika infected area or have recently been exposed to the virus.

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9. Avoid Travel to Zika-Infected Areas

If you don’t absolutely need to, try to avoid travelling to areas which are known to be infected with Zika. Staying away from such places is one of the best strategies for Zika prevention. Be particularly careful if you are pregnant, as the virus can cause birth defects in unborn babies.

10. Check Travel Advisories

Before any travel, it’s important to stay updated with the latest travel advisories. Check government websites regularly in order to ensure you have the latest information on the Zika virus global outbreak and whether or not travel to certain countries is safe or not.

Taking the time to educate yourself on Zika virus prevention is essential for ensuring the safety of yourself and your loved ones. By keeping these 10 strategies in mind, you can reduce your risk of contracting the virus and ensure you stay Zika-free.

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