HEALTH: 4 Measures To Prevent Zika Virus Infection And Transmission

Since there is no Zika vaccine or effective treatment, let’s check what prevention measures we can take.

First prevention measure is to avoid travelling to regions and countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.

CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US earlier issued a travel alert, suggesting pregnant women or those planning on having a baby should temporarily avoid travel in Latin America and Caribbean regions .

Second, wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and use repellent to avoid mosquito bites.

Pregnant women or women planning to get pregnant should consult medical staff first and take precautions to avoid mosquito bites. These measures include wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, staying in places with air conditioning and using Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA-registered insect repellents.

Third, if one has Zika, protect others from getting sick.

CDC also points out that during the first week of infection, Zika virus can be found in the blood and passed from one infected person to others through mosquito bites. To help prevent others from getting sick, avoid mosquito bites during the first week of illness.

Fourth, distinguish mosquitoes using bio-tech.

One important step in cutting transmissions is to distinguish the mosquitoes that carry the virus. One bio-tech measure has proved effective for this. Scientists breed a genetically modified mosquito. It breeds with female mosquitoes in the wild, but the offspring never survive into adulthood. Since female mosquitoes only mate once during their life time, this measure looks promising. Oxitec from UK is breeding more of these GM mosquitoes. But their product is still being examined by the US Food and Drug Administration, or FDA.

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