Three weeks ago, the Colombia Health Ministry confirmed the first cases of local transmission of Zika virus in the country.
This has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue a travel notice for travelers to take precautionary measures to prevent contracting the mosquito borne virus as there is no vaccine or medicine to prevent Zika virus infection.
Local transmission means that mosquitoes in Colombia have been infected with Zika virus and are spreading it to people.
Federal health officials offer the following recommendations to prevent mosquito bites:
- Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
- Use an approved insect repellent as directed.
- Higher percentages of active ingredients provide longer protection. Use products with the following active ingredients:
- DEET (Products containing DEET include Off!, Cutter, Sawyer, and Ultrathon.)
- Picaridin (Also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin. Products containing picaridin include Cutter Advanced, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus, and Autan [outside the United States].)
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or PMD (Products containing OLE include Repel and Off! Botanicals.)
- IR3535 (Products containing IR3535 include Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Expedition and SkinSmart.)
- Stay and sleep in screened or air-conditioned rooms.
- Use a bed net if the area where you are sleeping is exposed to the outdoors.
Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease (Zika) are fever, rash, joint pain, and red eye. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.
- Zika virus confirmed on Cape Verde
- Hawaii dengue outbreak up to 15 cases, Outbreaks not unheard of in US