With the cooler temperatures, many of you are getting ready to head south and to the islands. The Zika virus is still present out there, so take a few precautions and stay healthy.
Here’s some tips from the CDC.
What can travelers do to prevent Zika?
There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika. You can protect yourself by preventing mosquito bites:
- Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Use EPA-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE, also called para-menthane-diol [PMD]), IR3535, or 2-undecanone (methyl nonyl ketone). Always use as directed.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women can use all EPA-registered insect repellents, including DEET, according to the product label.
- Most repellents, including DEET, can be used on children older than 2 months. (OLE should not be used on children younger than 3 years.)
- Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents). You can buy pre-treated clothing and gear or treat them yourself.
- Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
- Sleep under a mosquito bed net if air conditioned or screened rooms are not available or if sleeping outdoors.
- Mosquito netting can be used to cover babies younger than 2 months old in carriers, strollers, or cribs to protect them from mosquito bites.
Many people infected with Zika virus do not feel sick. If a mosquito bites an infected person while the virus is still in that person’s blood, it can spread the virus by biting another person. If you travel to The Bahamas, you should take steps to prevent mosquito bites for 3 weeks after your trip, even if you don’t feel sick, so that you don’t spread Zika to uninfected mosquitoes that can spread the virus to other people.
If you have visited The Bahamas and have a pregnant partner, you should either use condoms or not have sex during the pregnancy.
If you are thinking about pregnancy, talk with your health care provider and wait to become pregnant You also should use condoms after travel to protect your sex partners from Zika even if you are not pregnant or trying to become pregnant.