Spring break is mosquito season, and CDC officials issue Zika warning to travelers and nontraveler alike to remember that the Zika virus is still a concern. Travelers heading to Central America, South America, the Pacific islands, parts of Asia and even the Miami and Brownsville, Texas areas must take precautions against the mosquito-borne disease. Experts from the United States and around the world gather in Atlanta to discuss current mosquito control practices.
According to health experts, if you must travel, you should pack long sleeve clothing and insect repellent for protection against mosquitoes. A bed net is also a must have if staying in a non-air conditioned room or a space that is not well screened. Packing condoms is also a necessity to prevent Zika virus transmission; men should consider using condoms or avoid sex for at least six months after travel, while women should do the same for at least eight weeks.
Additionally, the CDC gives Zika virus warning to pregnant women and women who are trying to get pregnant not make unnecessary trips. Travelers to these countries are urged to apply and reapply insect repellent during the stay, and make sure the sunscreen goes on before the bug spray. Officials also want recent travelers to countries with Zika to continue using insect repellent even when they return home for at least three more weeks to prevent local mosquitoes from picking up the virus, the WTOP reports.
Many people infected with the virus will not show any symptoms. Most will only have mild symptoms such as fever, rash, and red eyes. Other more serious symptoms include muscle pain, joint pain, and headache which can last for several days to a week, the WSB Radio Local News reports.
The CDC warning on Zika virus include big concerns with Zika such as birth defects. Infection during pregnancy can cause a birth defect of the brain called microcephaly and other severe defects such as defects of the eye, hearing deficits, and impaired growth. Aside from that, people usually don’t require hospitalization, and they very rarely die of Zika.