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Zika Virus | XL Travel Blog

Stay Safe and Avoid the Zika Virus With These Simple Tips

Posted on 05. Mar, 2016 by in Travel

Zika Virus | XL Travel Blog Zika virus disease, which is caused by the Zika virus, has been a growing concern among travelers. The virus is spread by the bite an infected mosquito. Symptoms of Zika virus disease include:

  • Joint pain
  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Conjuncitivities (red eyes)

In rare cases, the Zika virus can cause Guillain-Barre syndrome, which is a disorder that attacks the body’s immune system and can result in paralysis. Fortunately, complications are extremely rare. Only one in five people who are bitten by an infected mosquito contract the virus; in many, symptoms are so mild that they aren’t aware that they were infected. History of the Zika Virus The Zika virus was first discovered in 1947 and gets its name from the forest where it was first found. Five years later, the first case of Zika virus disease in humans was detected. Since that time, outbreaks of the disease have been reported in the Pacific, Southeast Asia and tropical Africa. In May 2015, the disease was found to have spread to South America. In 2016, the World Health Organization declared Zika a public health emergency and warned that it could spread to other places that currently don’t have the virus. Tips for Preventing Zika Virus Disease No vaccine can currently prevent Zika virus disease. The best prevention is by protecting against mosquito bites. Those who are traveling to places with the Zika virus should:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants
  • Sleep in places with air conditioning or use door/window screens to keep mosquitoes outdoors
  • If sleeping outdoors, use a mosquito net
  • Always use a Environmental Protection Agency-registered insect repellant when outdoors
  • Protect clothing, gear and luggage with permethrin

Special Concerns for Pregnant Women and Children Some studies have found that the Zika virus can cause microcephaly to occur in unborn fetuses. Microcephaly causes the head to be much smaller than it should due to underdevelopment of the brain during pregnancy. Pregnant women should take care to follow the precautions and avoid mosquito bites in infected areas. Children younger than two months of age cannot use insect repellants. Keeping babies covered with mosquito nets and blankets is the safest way to prevent bites from occurring. Though the Zika virus has been getting a lot of media attention, travelers can be protected by following the tips to prevent mosquito bites from occurring.   If you are reading this anywhere else other than on XL Travel Blog or via my RSS Feed, it is stolen content without credit. You can find me on Twitter via @TravelWithJesse Come and visit my blog at http://XLTravelBlog.com

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