Contrary to popular belief the Zika Virus is not new, it was first discovered in 1947 and the first human case was in 1952. However, in recent years we have come to hear more and more about Zika and it’s fast spreading tendencies.

The Zika virus is spread by the infected Aedes species mosquito, this is the same type of mosquito that carries Dengue Fever and Chikungunya. These mosquitoes typically bite in the daytime, early in the morning or before dusk.

Zika is now present in over 58 countries including the United States, this map shows affected areas around the world:

zia-virus-map

Our goal is to help you enjoy your vacation by having the peace of mind that you have done your research. If you do choose to travel to one of these countries there are a number of successful preventative measure you can take.

It is important to keep in mind that although these countries are affected by Zika, travel to and inhabitance of these countries has not stopped.

Our goal is to help you enjoy your vacation by having the peace of mind that you have done your research. If you do choose to travel to one of these countries there are a number of successful preventative measure you can take.

It is important to keep in mind that although these countries are affected by Zika, travel to and inhabitance of these countries has not stopped.

Here, we lay out the “do’s” before, during and after your trip.

Precautions before your trip:

  1. Check travel notices for latest updates on the Zika virus
  2. If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant talk to your health provider before travel.

Precautions during your trip:

  1. Clothing
    1. Wear long sleeves and pants, particularly in the day time
    2. Treat clothing with mosquito repellent (permethrin)
  2. Mosquito Repellant
    1. Use a repellant that contains one of the following: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol.
    2. Learn what repellant is right for you here: https://www.epa.gov/insect-repellents/find-insect-repellent-right-you
    3. Learn more about the safe use of mosquito repellant here: https://www.epa.gov/insect-repellents/using-insect-repellents-safely-and-effectively
  3. Protecting the indoors
    1. When inside close windows and choose air conditioned rooms
    2. Mosquito nets can also be hung above beds for nighttime protection
  4. Protection outdoors
    1. Standing water treatment tabs are used to kill larvae in standing water outdoors, where mosquitoes typically lay eggs.
  5. Sexual transmission
    1. Zika can be spread from one to another during intercourse. Use protection or avoid sexual intercourse.

After your trip there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. If you feel different in any way, see a health care provider and immediately be tested for Zika or other travel health concerns.
  2. Protect yourself during sexual intercourse, there is a variety of research on this and the period of time will be determined on a number of factors. It is best to speak to your health care provider for a personalized assessment.
  3. Protect yourself from mosquito bites for the following three weeks after returning home. Even if you do not feel symptoms.

By following these simple precautions we can help to eliminate the spread of Zika and other mosquito related health concerns.

Want more information? The CDC has put together some great information packages for families and solo travellers travelling to these areas here.

We hope that you follow your inner travel bug and travel to wherever makes you the most happy, with the peace of mind knowing you have taken the right precautions.