Preventing Zika Virus Infection

These tips will help you to prevent Zika virus infection, which began to spread to all the warm countries.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has recently issued a warning to pregnant women traveling to about 30 countries where there is a high risk of infection by the Zika Virus.

This is because Zika virus has been directly linked with the birth of babies having microcephaly. Zika virus can also cause flu-like symptoms in any infected person. Zika is prevalent in warm weather countries in the Caribbean and Central America. It is also found in South Pacific and South America. There are chances that the Zika virus will spread to other parts of the southern US as the warmer months come around.

Because Zika is spread by mosquitoes, it is preventable. Even with the travel warnings from the CDC, you can reduce the risk of Zika exposure while traveling. Only one in five people infected by the Zika virus will develop symptoms such as fever, rash, red eyes or joint pain. These symptoms are mild it is often difficult to tell if one has the virus.



Zika is sexually transmitted

The Zika virus is sexually transmitted and having unprotected sex with an infected man can lead to infection. It is advisable to practice abstinence or safe sex while traveling to high-risk areas.

Prevent mosquito bites

The Zika virus is spread through the bite of an Aedes Mosquito. The CDC recommends that you should use repellents that contain 20% of more DEET to prevent mosquito bites when traveling to high-risk areas. It is also recommended to cover up with clothing and sleeping in side screened and climate controlled buildings. It is also advisable to avoid activities that could put you in direct risk of mosquito bites such as camping outside or fishing. With effective mosquito bite prevention, you do not need to worry about the Zika Virus.

Testing for Zika virus

One of the reasons why the CDC is quite adamant about banning travel for pregnant women is because of how difficult it is to diagnose Zika virus infection. There are no rapid tests for Zika virus infection. Blood and urine samples have to go through tests in a sophisticated laboratory to determine whether one is infected or not. Zika virus is quite similar to Dengue and Yellow Fever and there is often misdiagnosis due to false negatives and false positives. To be on the safe side, it is advisable to avoid travel until after delivery.

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Author Bio: Maggie Martin is completing her PhD in Cell Biology, works as a lab tech for Mybiosource.com and contributes content on Biotech, Life Sciences, and Viral Outbreaks. Follow on Twitter @MaggieBiosource.