The Zika virus has been making a lot of international headlines lately, and for good reason. Possibly linked to the birth defect microcephaly, which causes abnormally small heads and brain damage in newborns, as well as possible links to Gullain-Barré, a paralyzing condition found in all ages, the Zika virus was declared an international health emergency last February by the World Health Organization. New to the Western Hemisphere, the Zika virus is spread through the Aedes mosquito and in 2015, mass reports of the virus were documented in Brazil.
While there have been no local mosquito-borne cases reported in the United States, travel-associated cases have been coming into light. The Zika virus is a danger for all ages, especially pregnant women or women aiming to get pregnant in the next few years, and we here at Fin & Feather believe it’s not only important to provide you with the products you need to stay safe this traveling season, but also the knowledge on how to do so:
Symptoms of Zika Virus:
The symptoms for Zika virus are relatively mild, and not all who are infected will even experience the fever, rash, joint pain or conjunctivitis (red eyes) that are associated with the virus when symptoms are present. The real danger with the Zika virus is for women who are pregnant (particularly in their first trimester), and for women looking to get pregnant in the near future. For this reason, the CDC has issued travel notices, advising women with pregnancy intentions to not travel to certain areas until more information and possibly a treatment has been developed for the Zika virus.
What Countries Pregnant Women Should Avoid:
The Pan American Health Organization believes the virus will make its way through the Americas, and the CDC currently has a handful of travel notices for the Zika virus in Caribbean states, Central America, Mexico, the Pacific Islands, South America and for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. For a complete list of travel notices be sure to check out the Travel Notices webpage from the CDC.
Prevention for Zika Virus
A good place to start for preventing the Zika virus is avoiding travel to the above designated countries, and if you do have travel plans, or are worried about the virus expanding further over the summer, your next best bet is to utilize physical barriers (window screens, closed doors, bug nets, etc.), bug repellents and clothing that covers the entire body. Bug repellents should contain DEET or picaridin, and it’s imperative to read and follow all instructions of use when applying the repellent.
Zika Prevention at Fin & Feather
If you do have travel plans to a designated travel-notice country, or just want to avoid mosquito bites all together this spring & summer, Fin & Feather has many of the items you need to stay bug free. From mosquito nets for your face and bed, to a large assortment of DEET mosquito repellents, Fin & Feather also has many clothing options to keep you covered including a long line of Ex-Officio travel shirts with built-in Insect Shield mosquito repellent. To help you travel worry free, or just to avoid any questionable mosquito bites year round, be sure to stop into Fin & Feather today and get yourself covered for the upcoming mosquito season.
ADDITIONAL ZIKA RESOURCES:
New York Times – “Short Answers to Hard Questions About Zika Virus“