Protecting Yourself From the Zika Virus
The explosion of the Zika virus in Central and South America has caused widespread concern and fear. For around 50 years the virus was simply a mild concern to citizens in Africa and Southeast Asia. The infection rate was low and the virus only caused mild flu-like symptoms. However, in 2007 the virus “went rogue” crossing the ocean and spreading to Brazil. In the last year the virus has exploded, spreading throughout Central and South America. The greatest concern officials have at the moment is the virus’ link to the birth defect known as microcephaly. The number of cases of babies born with the birth defect to mothers who were infected with the virus has increased from a few dozen to thousands.
So, how can we protect ourselves against this virus? First of all, the primary way this virus is transmitted is through mosquito bites. So far, officials have seen no evidence of it being transmitted from person to person. Dr. Ali Khan recommends doing everything you would normally do to protect yourself from getting bitten by a mosquito. Wear insect repellent, long sleeves and long pants, and try to empty any containers of standing water where you are. It is important to note that all the cases of Americans catching the Zika virus so far are of people who have traveled to areas where the virus is active. There have been no locally transmitted cases reported yet. We do have the same type of mosquito that can transmit the virus, but as they have yet to catch the virus, no Americans can catch the virus locally yet.
Are you concerned about the spread of the Zika virus? Do you think the U.S. is taking the proper precautions against the virus?