What You Need to Know About Zika Virus Prevention
If you thought mosquitoes are only responsible for transmitting malaria, then think again. While the world has been focusing its attention on more dangerous epidemics such as Ebola and new strains of influenza, the Zika virus has stealthily risen from being a public nuisance to a fast growing emergency. The effect of the Zika virus was first noticed in 2015 after an increase in microcephaly cases among live births in Brazil. Since then, many scientific articles have been published regarding the association between the Zika virus and microcephaly as well as identification of new non-mosquito transmission channels. Today, studies show that the Zika virus can also be transmitted through blood transfusions and $exual intercourse. Even the world health organization (WHO) has declared Zika virus a public health emergency.
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Currently, no vaccines exist to prevent the Zika virus. There is also no treatment for Zika virus besides high intake of fluids, bed rest and pain medication. However, there are a couple of things you can do to protect yourself against the Zika virus:
Avoid highly infected areas
The Zika virus was first identified in Africa back in the 1940’s. Since then, it has spread through various continents and in America; the Zika virus has infected most of the southern part of the country. If you live anywhere near Mexico, the Zika virus should be a huge concern and you should apply the tips below.
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Avoid mosquito bites
The Zika virus is known to be transmitted by the Aedes species mosquito. The virus bite spreads mostly during the day, so you should always wear clothing that provide a good amount of cover up. You can also use bug repellant sprays and lotions to keep the mosquitoes away. Sleeping under treated mosquito nets can help to prevent mosquito bites at night. Using mosquito screens on your windows can also help keep the mosquitoes out of your house completely. To prevent mosquitoes from breeding near your home, drain all water puddles, empty water buckets and keep the grass around your home trim.
Avoid unprotected love making and blood transfusions
$exual transmission of Zika virus is possible, and is of particular concern during pregnancy. Current information about possible physical transmission of Zika is based on reports of three cases. The first was probable transmission of Zika virus from a man to a woman, in which closeness occurred a few days before the man’s symptom onset. The second is a case of physical transmission currently under investigation (unpublished data, 2016, Dallas County Health and Human Services). The third is a single report of replication-competent Zika virus isolated from semen at least 2 weeks and possibly up to 10 weeks after illness onset; reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction testing of blood plasma specimens collected at the same time as the semen specimens did not detect Zika virus. The man had no $exual contacts. Because no further testing was conducted, the duration of persistence of Zika virus in semen remains unknown – Quote CDC.
According to the CDC $exual transmission is possible, it is advisable to use protection during love making. Sharing injection objects such as needles can help spread. You should avoid getting blood transmissions while in highly infected areas. In case you need to get a blood transfusion, ensure that the hospital takes great care in ensuring that the blood is not contaminated.
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