As most people have heard by now, Zika is a virus that is transmitted via mosquitoes and has also been suspected to be transmitted sexually. It is of most concern to pregnant females or females of child-bearing age since it has been linked with the birth defect known as microcephaly which literally means "small head" but is a condition in which the brain also does not develop properly.
|Zika virus disease (Zika) is a disease caused by Zika virus that is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito.|
While the effects of any acute illness are generally mild and I am not very concerned since there is no way my husband and I can get pregnant or ever become pregnant, my brother and his girlfriend are going on this cruise with us so it is of concern to them. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a travel alert (Level 2-Practice Enhanced Precautions) for people traveling to regions and certain countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing: Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. This list is constantly changing and expanding so for the most up to date information can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/zika/
|All Countries and Territories with Active Zika Virus Transmission via http://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/active-countries.html|
If you are planning to travel to any of the affected areas then the CDC has a few recommendations to follow to try to prevent transmission:
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
- Use EPA-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or IR3535. Always use as directed.
- Insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, and IR3535 are safe for pregnant and nursing women and children older than 2 months when used according to the product label. Oil of lemon eucalyptus products should not be used on children under 3 years of age.
- Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents).
- Stay and sleep in screened-in or air-conditioned rooms.