Zika Virus: Latest updates, travel warnings and prevention methods
- In 2016 the World Health Organization declared the Zika virus an international public health emergency and now estimates that there could be four million Zika-related cases in the Americas within the next year.
- The CDC has compiled the latest Zika related information included cases, transmission and risks, symptoms and testing, prevention, pregnancy, surveillance and mosquito control.
- Zika virus was first detected in Uganda in 1947.
- The current outbreak and is now affecting people in all of the America’s with Brazil being the latest epicenter.
- Zika Virus is causing concerns primarily in the country of Brazil where it has been linked to a rise in a phenomenon called microcephaly.
- In the USA, the mosquito responsible for the transmission of the Zika virus is already prevalent in 30 states.
- No locally transmitted Zika cases have been reported in the continental United States, but cases have been reported in returning travelers in Puerto Rico, Illinois, Texas, and Florida.
- One case of microcephaly has been linked to Zika and reported in Hawaii.
- There is no vaccine for Zika and therefore, prevention of mosquito bites is extremely important.
Insect Shield is effective protection against Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes – transmitters of the Zika Virus
- The Aedes mosquito, the main vector of the Zika virus (as well as Dengue fever, chikungunya and Yellow fever) may be one of the toughest mosquito species to battle.
- Unlike the malaria mosquito, Anopheles, typically a night biter, Aedes bite during the day, rendering bed nets less effective.
- Day use of permethrin treated clothing and gear products are best suited for protection from the day biting Aedes mosquito.
- Aedes prefer to bite people, and flourish in breeding grounds near people, such as urban areas, making it a serious public health threat.
- Breeding grounds are difficult to eliminate since this type of mosquito does not need much water.
Mosquito bite prevention methods recommended by the recommended by the CDC:
- Wear permethrin-treated clothing
- Treat clothing with permethrin
- Use topical insect repellents like DEET on exposed skin
Travel Health Warnings
The CDC has issued travel health warnings for pregnant women considering travel to the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and South America.