Zika Virus – What You Can Do to Stop It!
Before we get into how to stop it, I think it’s important to know what the Zika Virus is and how it’s spread.
What is the Zika Virus?
Here is what Wikipedia has to say:
“Zika virus is related to dengue, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, and West Nile viruses. The illness it causes is similar to a mild form of dengue fever, is treated by rest, and cannot yet be prevented by drugs or vaccines. There is a possible link between Zika fever and microcephaly in newborn babies by mother-to-child transmission, as well as a stronger one with neurologic conditions in infected adults, including cases of the Guillain–Barré syndrome.“
Whoa! Hang on a minute. It’s NOT those diseases but is RELATED to them. That’s a big difference. More from the Wikipedia entry:
“In humans, the virus causes most often no symptoms or a mild illness known as Zika fever, which since the 1950s has been known to occur within a narrow equatorial belt from Africa to Asia”
What Are The Symptoms?
Here is what the Center for Disease Control (CDC) says:
- About 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus become ill (i.e., develop Zika).
- The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. The incubation period (the time from exposure to symptoms) for Zika virus disease is not known, but is likely to be a few days to a week.
- The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week.
- Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for a few days but it can be found longer in some people.
- Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.
- Deaths are rare.
Note those last two. So why the big scare now?
There are three issue fuelling the worry today. First, the disease is spreading much faster and more widely. There is a lot of speculation as to why, but there’s no doubt that cheap air travel and rising standards of living are contributing to the spread. Secondly, it seems to affect pregnant women more adversely and can result in birth defects. Thirdly, it has now been reported that the Zika Virus can be sexually transmitted.
This is from the CDC:
- No vaccine or medications are available to prevent or treat Zika infections.
- Treat the symptoms:
- Get plenty of rest.
- Drink fluids to prevent dehydration.
- Take medicine such as acetaminophen to relieve fever and pain.
- Do not take aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen and naproxen. Aspirin and NSAIDs should be avoided until dengue can be ruled out to reduce the risk of hemorrhage (bleeding). If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication.
How You Can Prevent the Spread of Zika Virus
Ok, now that you know a lot more about the Zika Virus, what can you do to stop the spread of this virus. Well since it’s a virus spread by mosquitoes, you need to stop the mosquitoes! Here are some tips:
- Get rid of any standing water sources around your house. Old tires, empty bottles, watering cans, etc.
- Make sure your window screens don’t have holes in them.
- Wear clothing to cover exposed skin if you go into mosquito areas in your garden
- Wear insect repellent if needed
Read my article on Prepping for Pests. There are loads of plants that mosquitoes hate and you can either plant them in the garden, house plant them or probably best – do both!
So you see, there is a lot you can do to stop the spread of the Zika Virus!
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