The Zika Virus: Do you know how to protect your child?

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In connection with the Olympics taking place in Brazil, the Zika virus was among one of the most talked about topics during the year 2016 especially in connection to microcephaly in babies. Let’s take a look at what it really is and what you can do protect yourself and your baby.

Basic facts about the Zika virus

The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne virus first identified in Uganda in 1947. The first large outbreak was reported in 2007, but it has been largely talked about ever since Brazil reported an association between the Zika virus, microcephaly and Guillain-Barré disease in 2015.

Although there are many causes of microcephaly in babies such as infections during pregnancy, genetic dispositions and exposure to toxic substances, the CDC research has provided enough evidence to connect the two.

Microcephaly is a medical condition in which the brain does not develop properly causing the head to be smaller than the normal size and may also result in reduced life expectancy and an intellectual disability.

Prevention is key when it come to the Zika virus because diagnosing it is tricky given the symptoms that are similar to those of the flu – headaches, joint pain, malaise, fever.

The Zika Virus

Countries and territories showing historical distribution of Zika virus (World Health Organization)

But how do you protect yourself and your baby?

We bring you 3 tips that could prove helpful:

1. Cover yourself

Cover as much of your body as possible. It is also recommend to wear light-colored clothing.

2. Physical barriers

Create physical barriers between yourself and the insects such as window screens. Make sure to close all windows and doors when your light is turned on as to not attract an mosquitoes.

3. Insect repellent

Use insect repellent containing DEET, IR3535 or icaridin. This information is always available on the product label information.

These tips are especially important if you’re travelling to infected areas, special attention should be paid to young children and the elderly.

If you’re currently expecting a baby, it is advised to not travel to location where the Zika virus is most spread and this also goes for those trying to conceive.

Do you choose your destinations based on the Zika virus? Tell us in the comments.