Spring is here! And while spring represents great weather, new buds and blossoms, grilling, cookouts and many other cheery notes, it also usually means more mosquitos around and about.
With the recent news and a few horror stories about the Zika Virus, it might be a little scary to think about more mosquitos in your environment and any likelihood of this new virus spreading. So here are a few things you should know about Zika.
5 facts about the Zika Virus:
- How it spreads: It is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. If a man is infected, they can possibly infect someone else through sexual transmission. If someone is infected and is then bitten by an uninfected mosquito during the incubation period, that mosquito can then infect others. The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the species that carries Zika.
- Symptoms: The common symptoms of the virus are fever, joint pain, rash, red eyes, muscle pain and headache. If you have these symptoms (and particularly if you have been bitten by a mosquito in the last couple of weeks), you should see a doctor. Those infected with the Zika Virus often don’t know they have it because they attribute their symptoms to something else.
- What to do if you have it: Rest and drink lots of fluids. You should not take aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen if you have or think you might have the virus. You can take Tylenol.
- Effects of the virus: While the Zika Virus is particularly dangerous for women who are pregnant or are trying to get pregnant, we still do not know of any other long term effects that the virus may have.
- How to reduce risk: The best thing you can do is to prevent getting bitten by mosquitos. Cover as much of your body with clothes as you can when you are outdoors. Use mosquito repellent on areas of your body that are exposed. (see below for more info on safe repellents).
In addition to Zika concerns, there is also the West Nile Virus. Like Zika, it is spread through mosquito bites and has no known cure. West Nile infections occur primarily in the summer and have been reported in almost every state.
So, either way, precautions against mosquitos and other insect bites are still a very good idea.
Insect Repellents and Dangerous Chemicals
Nearly all of the commercial insect repellents on the market are loaded with dangerous chemicals that make their way into your bloodstream through your skin. To read more about this, see my article: https://www.healthkick.info/living-nontoxic-life/non-toxic-insect-repellent/
All Natural Mosquito Repellent
To make your own truly heavy duty insect repellent, you can follow this recipe here: https://www.healthkick.info/living-nontoxic-life/non-toxic-insect-repellent/
This article was published in the New York Daily News: https://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/don-stung-zika-virus-article-1.2584567
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