As a resident of Miami Beach, the second location within Miami Dade county to have recorded non-foreign contracted Zika cases, it is interesting to witness the media’s coverage of Zika in comparison to day-to-day life in an “Active Zika Zone”. A virus which can potentially cause deaths in infants is certainly not to be taken lightly. However, for the rest of the non-child bearing population, Zika effects are not life-threatening (albeit less than desirable). What are the facts about how the virus effects the non-pregnant population, and what are steps you can take to reduce the risk of contracting Zika?
- Symptoms of Zika are generally mild, only 20% of those contracting it show symptoms. When experienced, symptoms are flu-like and include onset of rashes.
- Zika typically lasts two weeks. Men and women are advised to wait 8 weeks before attempting to conceive.
- A vaccine is already underway. Invio Pharmaceuticals received FDA approval for testing an experimental vaccine in humans.
- With air-conditioning, window screens, and overall mosquito control, experts believe the spread of Zika to be relatively contained and not a major epidemic in the US.
- Miami Beach will begins aerial spraying on Thursday, 8.25.2016 to combat the mosquitoes carrying the virus.
- Zika is easier to stop than West Nile Virus, since mosquitoes that carry Zika can only travel short distance.
4 Steps to Take to Avoid Zika in Miami
- Wear long sleeves and have skin covered when outside. This seems unreasonable in hot weather, however light colors and linen are both breathable and fashionable in Miami
- Apply Deet-Free bug repellent. Avon has a Deet Free repellent that works great and leaves skin feeling soft. Why Deet Free? Deet is more harsh and can potentially be harmful to health.
- Close windows and screens. Ensure holes in screens are repaired.
- Stay indoors when mosquitoes are most active, between Dusk and Dawn.