Warnings on Zika Virus

Zika virus warning
Mosquito-borne Zika virus linked to birth defects.

Pregnant preppers (and preppers in South Eastern U.S.):
Zika virus warning!
Get out the citronella, wear long sleeves, keep the windows and
doors closed, and hold off your travel plans, because a new
virus coming to town! There is an outbreak of the mosquito-
born Zika virus, which has virtually no symptoms and no known
cure.  

If there are no symptoms, what's the problem?
Well, unfortunately, the problem is that Zika Virus is slow to
show its signs:


  • Some don't know they have Zika Virus. Four out of five
    people who get the virus don't know they've contracted it
    and they don't get sick! About 80% of people infected with
    Zika virus never know they have it!

  • One in five get sick, and get a fever, rash, or red eyes.
    There are 2 million cases of Zika Virus in the world so far
    (mostly in Latin America, Carribbean)

  • Thousands have been born with the birth defect and
    dozens have died, and so there are warnings to pregnant
    women on the Zika virus.

  • Warning to pregnant women on the Zika Virus: The
    problem is that Zika virus has links to a severe birth
    defect, specifically Microcephaly, which is a failure of the
    brain to grow at a normal rate. Microcephaly, or a below
    average head size, affects around 25,000 children in the U.
    S. annually. The mosquitoes are here in the United States,
    and it's not just a problem in pregnancies.

  • A vaccine will take a decade to make! To make a vaccine,
    clinicians must capture a mosquito carrying the disease.
    Anyone who's ever tried to swat a pesky midnight
    mosquito is aware of how clever these little guys are at
    evading danger.

  • Warning to preppers in Arkansas, California, Virginia
    and New York.

  • The CDC has issued travel warnings to Brazil and other
    countries: The CDC is advising healthcare workers to ask
    all pregnant patients about travel, and has issued travel
    warnings for U.S. territories, including  Puerto Rico and
    Saint Martin (U.S. Virgin Islands).

Things to know about Zika virus...
Here's more that a prepper needs to know about the
mosquito-borne Zika virus:

  • Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are carriers. Zika virus is
    acquired through the bite of an infected mosquito. Aedes
    aegypti mosquitoes spread the virus by getting a blood
    meal from an infected person and then subsequently feed
    on another person to pass the disease. Generally Zika
    virus is not transmitted person to person. It's transmitted
    by a vector  the Aedes mosquito is the main vector.

  • It's not a person-to-person disease, HOWEVER....
    Rarely, Zika Virus can be transmitted from mother to child
    or from person to person through infected blood or sexual
    contact. Certainly a blood transfusion could potentially
    pose risks if an infected person who wasn't aware of
    having the disease would give blood.


How to Minimize Risks of Zika Virus
Zika is a member of the Flaviviruses, which comes from an
infected Aedes aegppti mosquito, (a mosquito also responsible
for spreading
Dengue fever, West Nile virus, and yellow fever).
Zika also has links in Brazil to Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a
neurological disorder that causes paralysis.

There have been about 20 cases of Zika virus in the united
States and one baby born in Hawaii has succumbed to the brain
deforming virus. There is no known vaccine or medicine to cure.

#1: Clear stagnant water where mosquitoes breed.
Mosquito dunks kill mosquitoes at the source of breeding in
stagnant water. Pictured left is Mosquito Bits, environmentally
sound biological mosquito control that you can trust. It kills
mosquitoes fast, within 24 hours and is EPA registered in all 50
states. Just sprinkle in any standing water.

#2: Protect against mosquito bites.
Mosquito bed nets offer only limited protection, since
unfortunately, the infected mosquitoes are mostly active during
the day,
  • DEET - the larger risk for pregnant women is the mosquito
    bite and not the potentially toxic properties that this
    medicine on the pregancy.
  • Picaridin (Avon Skin So Soft Bug Guard)
  • oil of lemon eucalyptus, pictured left (try also Repel,
    pictured right)
  • IR3535 (often found in DEET-free sprays)

Natural repellents may include:
  • Citronella*
  • Lemon Eucalyptus Essential oil*

#3: Avoid Travelling to areas with known cases of Zika virus.
Travellers in the following Countries risk exposure:
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Cape Verde
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • French Guiana
  • Guadeloupe
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Martinique
  • Mexico
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Puerto Rico
  • Saint Martin
  • Samoa
  • Suriname
  • Venezuela

#4: Be aware of Zika virus symptoms.
Here's what to expect when you're not expecting Zika virus...

Acute onset of the disease includes:
  • arthralgia (pain in joints)
  • conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • fever
  • maculopapular rash

#5: Avoid spreading Zika virus to others.
Zika virus is spread from mosquito to person. This means that a
sick person should be isolated from mosquitoes to prevent
another mosquito from getting a blood meal on that individual
and then perpetuating the problem by infecting others. This is
the main concern about the rapid spread of the disease.

If you exhibit the symptoms and have visited any of the areas
known to have Zika virus exposure, stay vigilant during your
illness and a week after to steer clear of mosquitoes.

Other ways to get Zika Virus:

  • Breast milk. There is some evidence suggesting that Zika
    virus could transmit from mother to child through breast
    milk

  • Sexual Contact. Transmission from person to person in
    sexual intercourse is possible however, the recorded
    incidents are rare, but do occur.

  • Sperm donations. Sperm banks are on the high alert and
    will not accept donations from individuals who have
    recently visited one of the Zika affected areas or who have
    had sexual relation with someone who has visited in the
    past 28 days.

  • Blood transfusions.

You can avoid spreading Zika virus to others by avoiding
mosquitoes in the following ways:
  1. stay indoors (remember the mosquitoes feed mostly during
    the day)
  2. use a mosquito net when possible
  3. wear mosquito repellent bracelet
  4. keep screens on windows and doors to prevent entry
  5. sleep in air-conditioned, screened rooms
  6. remove water from flower vases (the mosquitoes can
    replicate in even in tiny sources of water).
  7. light a citronella candle!
  8. smoke out mosquitoes with an outdoor firepit.

The World Health Organization has declared Zika virus a "public
health emergency of international concern." That's because Zika
is spreading quickly across Central and South America, and the
Caribbean.

Thankfully there have been no reported cases of Zika virus
contracted by a mosquito bite in the United States. The
mosquitoes haven't yet penetrated the continental United
States, though you will find the offending mosquitoes in its
outlying territories -- in the U.S. Virgin Islands (Saint Martin)
and in Puerto Rico.

Happy endings...
Zika Virus certainly is a lot less scarier than Ebola and
prevention can save your life! If you remember to stay inside
(since the blood suckers usually feed by day) and stay in
screened areas as much as possible you should be fine. Add
layers of clothing and wear Deet during peak exposure times.
Do all these things and you will reduce your risks significantly.

So now you know more about Zika virus and now you can send
your warnings to pregnant women and your prepper friends.
Take action and learn more about how to avoid mosquitoes and
soothe mosquito bites naturally.

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