Staying on Guard: Zika Virus

Staying on Guard: Zika Virus

by Posted on: August 24, 2016Categories: LiveWell 24/7   

It is essential that we stay informed on the disease that is rapidly spreading around our world. Being aware of the Zika virus’s effect on newborns is essential, especially if you are planning on becoming pregnant. The Zika virus is spread by the Aedes mosquito and is a major concern in warm environments around the world. A new Brazilian study has shown how Zika can affect the anatomy of a newborn baby. This study is based on 45 cases of newborns whose mothers were infected with the virus. Many of these babies were born with a condition called microcephaly. Microcephaly is when the baby is born with an abnormally small head. This characteristic is usually paired with other abnormalities, such as damage to the corpus callosum, the cerebellum, and the basal ganglia. These brain structures control movement, speech, thought processes, and emotion. The development of the child is drastically altered by these impairments. There have been more than 1,800 cases of the virus that have been linked to microcephaly. As you know, this is beginning to be a concern in our country. It is important to be careful and stay on guard, especially if you or a loved one is planning on becoming pregnant.

Follow these simple steps to protect yourself from this vicious virus:

  1. Mosquito Repellent: Products with ingredients DEET, lemon and eucalyptus oil, picaridin, or IR 3535.
  2. Apply it Correctly: Apply repellent after sunscreen. Also, don’t forget places like ankles and feet. Apply often.
  3. Clothing: Wear long sleeves if in a location with a large mosquito population. Also wear a hat and sunglasses.
  4. At Home: Places where the weather is warm year round are more at risk. Protect your home by eliminating standing water. However, if you have a pool, the chlorine will act as a repellent.
  5. Exercise Indoors: It is wise to work out indoors when in a place at risk.
  6. When Traveling: Be sure to talk to your doctor if pregnant about places currently infected with Zika.

Reader’s Digest, New York Times



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