Zika Virus: Prevention tips from experts
Zika Virus: From using condoms for sexual intercourse to avoiding travel to areas with ongoing Zika transmission, here are a few prevention measures that should be taken.
Zika Virus: A five-year-old girl from Karnataka has tested positive for Zika virus, marking the first case of the virus in the state. Zika virus, a mosquito-borne virus, usually transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, causes the illness known as Zika (ZEE ka). Dr. Sanjay Gupta, senior consultant, internal medicine, Paras Hospital spoke of the ways that the virus can spread to HT Lifestyle - “By having unprotected sex with an infected individual or by being bitten by an infected Aedes mosquito, a person might contract the disease. Babies' birth abnormalities have been demonstrated to be associated with infections during pregnancy. It can be challenging to pinpoint precise regions where the Zika Virus is spreading, and those locations may vary over time.”
Dr Neha Rastogi Panda, Consultant Infectious Diseases, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram further added the prevention tips that we should take in order to avoid contracting the virus:
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Vector or mosquito-based precautions - Avoid stagnant water collection, cleaning pots and coolers. Using EPA approved mosquito repellent (DEET) is preferred. Larvicidal measures such as permethrin is desirable. Prefer full clothing and light wear clothes while going out and for kids.
Sexual prevention: Use of condoms for safe sex and sexual abstinence for 2 -3 months for both women and men if suspected or while travelling to area of ongoing Zika transmission. It is recommended if there is an accidental exposure, to consider emergency contraception measures at an earliest.
For traveling: Avoiding travel to areas with ongoing Zika transmission via travel health and vaccine clinic and expertise is recommended. Even in case of traveling, active screening of infection and using full blown preventive measures should be taken.
Dr Sanjay Gupta further added prevention tips for pregnant women - “Avoid going to any places where the Zika virus is present. If you must visit these locations, see your doctor first and firmly adhere to the recommended mosquito-bite prevention measures. -When using condoms with male partners who have visited these regions, always use them correctly.” For babies, he recommended, that bug repellent should not be used on them. Instead, child carrier or car seat should be enclosed in a mosquito net.