What is the Zika Virus?
Zika is a contagious virus that is spread to humans through mosquito bites from Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. This type of mosquito is also a carrier of the diseases dengue and chikungunya. Symptoms of the Zika virus include rash, fever, joint pain and conjunctivitis. The disease has been strongly linked to cases of microcephaly and other severe birth defects for pregnant women who become infected. Health authorities in several countries have therefore warned people, especially pregnant women, against travelling to areas with outbreaks of the Zika virus. The disease has spread rapidly across the American continent and is now considered a pandemic.
How to protect yourself?
Currently there is no vaccine for Zika Virus, so the only thing you can do if you will travelling in areas affected by this, is to focus on preventive measures to protect yourself against bites. At the moment WHO advises everyone to make use of mosquito repellents to prevent the virus from spreading.
Unlike other types of mosquitoes like Culex, a type of mosquito that only bites at night, Aedes mosquito actively and aggressively bites during daytime. The Aedes mosquitoes are known to thrive indoors. The Mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water, and the drainage of such areas, as well as the use of mosquito traps can help control mosquito populations.
Source: noragent.no / Norway Today