The Zika virus has been scaring many travelers away from the tropics. Below are five ways to avoid contracting Zika.
Use an effective insect repellant
When you are outdoors, use an insect repellant. The CDC recommends using a product that contains DEET. Although the use of DEET on the skin has been controversial, a 2014 Popular Science article busts the myths surrounding its dangers. Natural insect repellants, such as lemon essential oil or peppermint oil, are not recommended because they have not been studied by the CDC.
Keep them out
As soon as temperatures hit 50 or 60 degrees, mosquitoes come out of hibernation. That means that they can live throughout the year in the milder climate of Houston, TX. Keep your windows and doors closed as much as possible. Don’t air out the car by letting it sit with the windows open.
Eliminate standing water
Most people know that they shouldn’t let water collect in buckets, yard equipment or birdbaths if they want to eliminate mosquito breeding areas. What they may not realize is that if a mosquito flies inside your home, it can breed in the glass of water next to the sink or the puddle in the bathtub.
If you are outdoors, try to avoid sweating. That can be difficult on a warm summer day. Prevent mosquitoes from swarming to the heat and carbon dioxide that you emit by exercising indoors.
Although no Zika-infested mosquitoes have been found in the U.S. yet, the disease can be spread through sexual intercourse. Some people don’t experience any symptoms, so it’s important to always wear condoms, especially if your sexual partner has recently traveled to a Zika-affected area.