How to: Reduce Your Risk of Zika Virus This Summer

Reduce Your Risk of Zika VirusUse these tips to reduce your risk of Zika virus, the mosquito-borne illness.

Have you heard talk about the Zika virus floating around? The first Zika-caused U.S. death was reported on April 29 in Puerto Rico, and the cause was complications from a Zika infection, including internal bleeding. In turn, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued new guidance on deferring individuals from donating blood if they have been to areas with active Zika virus transmission in order to protect the U.S. blood supply. But it’s up to you to protect yourself, too.

The Zika disease can be transmitted through mosquito bites, from a pregnant mother to child, via sexual contact, and through a blood transfusion. If you have a holiday lined up to visit a foreign destination, be sure to take active precautions against being infected with such a virus by using these tips to reduce your risk of Zika virus:

  • Pick the right mosquito repellent.
    The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends products with active ingredients DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus, picaridin, or IR 3535. Choosing an EPA-registered repellent means that the EPA has evaluated the product for effectiveness. When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
  • Apply it correctly.
    Bug spray should be applied after sunscreen, otherwise the SPF may mask it. Don’t wear repellent under clothes; it won’t evaporate and may accumulate on the fabric. Never forget to spray your feet and ankles as these are common bite infection sites. Protect your child by spraying the repellent onto your hands before rubbing it into his or her skin. In addition, always follow the product’s instructions for re-application.
  • Wear the right clothing.
    Wear long trousers and long sleeved tops, covering exposed skin. Make an effort to cover your feet and ankles as best you can since mosquitos have an appetite for your feet. Avoid wearing yoga pants as mosquitos can easily bite through Spandex!
  • Prep your home.
    Just one tablespoon of water can serve as a mosquito breeding ground and produce up to 300 mosquitos! For this reason, eliminating any and all standing water throughout your home, including flower bottles, bottles, and in the sink, is imperative.
  • Travel smart!
    The best way to avoid Zika virus is to avoid affected areas. Check the CDC’s regularly updated list of countries and territories with active Zika virus transmission. If you must travel to an affected country, stay in air-conditioned areas, sleep under bed nets if your room may have mosquitoes, and use mosquito repellent often.

The insurance professionals at Jack Stone Insurance Agency hope that you and your family stay safe this summer. To secure all of your local Antioch and Brentwood, California insurance needs, contact us today.

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