Zika Mania is not to be confused with the boys from Liverpool – Beatle Mania. Not since the dreaded bedbug found in 4-hour nap establishments and certain college dorm rooms has there been so much hype about an insect. Mosquitos creep me out on a psychological level and are carriers of the “Gross” factor above and beyond what can be described in this blog. Brushing that aside,
governments (including the USA) are gearing up for an unknown epidemic with Ninja style tactics. Obama requested $1.9 billion tax dollars be earmarked to fight this pandemic infectious disease. But our illustrious Executive branch of the government is miles apart on approval and appropriation. The Senate has agreed to a moderate $1.1 billion, but the House is only willing to pony up a paltry $621 million.
In an article written by Sinclair Broadcast Group on June 19, 2016, it was reported that no cases have been transmitted in the USA, which is different than contracted. At this writing, 164 Zika virus cases have been contracted and reported in the USA, mostly in Florida and New York. Other heavily reported states include Texas, California, and Pennsylvania. States that seem virtually untouched include Wyoming, Idaho, North Dakota, and Alaska. Head North by Northwest young man.
With the Summer Olympics scheduled to begin in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on August 5th, there is a general feeling of dread and concern about the safety of game attendees. The 31st Olympiad committee has worked closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) in educating the public. Game goers can rest a little easier knowing that Rio is in the throes of winter on August 5th. Cooler, dryer climate prevails in Rio at this time of year and is inhospitable to mosquitoes.
Brazil’s pesky mosquito season typically runs November through March, 3 months beyond the conclusion of the Olympics. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the WHO seem to be in agreement that there is a very low likelihood of Zika virus contraction while attending the games.
If you plan to cruise or fly to the North or South Atlantic Oceans this summer, it should prevail upon you to take precautions. Carry and use repellants that contain DEET, and cover exposed skin with light-weight materials.
The mosquitos that spread Zika also carry dengue and chikungunya viruses. Limit daytime exposure since they are highly aggressive during sunlight hours, but they will also bite at night. Plan to seek refuge in air conditioned locations, sleep with mosquito nets over your bed, and refrain from eating at outside cafes unless screens are installed.
If you believe you are infected – have an unexplained rash, vomiting, and high fever – seek medical treatment immediately. Pregnant women should postpone travel to affected areas since it is believed that the Zika virus can cause microcephaly in an unborn fetus.
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Photo by womenshealthmag.com