Health

8 Tips to Prevent Zika When Traveling

Greyerbaby / Pixabay
Greyerbaby / Pixabay

Summer is underway and if you plan on travelling, you should follow these eight tips to protect yourself and your loved ones from the Zika virus.

Here’s what you should do before, during and after your trip to a Zika-affected area.

Before your trip

  1. If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, do not travel to Zika-impacted areas and talk to your doctor or health care provider about your travel plans.
  1. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the latest travel recommendations.

During your trip

  1. Protect yourself from mosquito bites by using insect repellent and appropriate clothing.
  1. Keep mosquitoes out and stay in places with air conditioning and with window and door screens. Use a bed net if air conditioned or screened rooms are not available or if sleeping outdoors.
  1. Protect yourself during sex by using condoms or don’t have sex since Zika can be transmitted through sex.

After your trip

  1. If you’ve been to a Zika-impacted area, protect yourself from mosquito bites for three weeks, even if you do not feel sick. Keep mosquitoes out of your home, dump standing water, use insect repellent and wear appropriate clothing.
  1. If you’ve visited an area with risk of Zika, use condoms during sex or avoid having it to avoid getting or spreading the virus.
  1. See your doctor or health care professional if you develop symptoms of Zika and you’ve travelled to a place with risk of the virus. Let your doctor know about your travel.

“By following these steps, you can help us keep Zika from spreading in our community,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “No local mosquito-transmitted cases of Zika have occurred in California or San Diego County, and we’re doing everything we can to keep it that way.”

Since the epidemic in the Americas began in Brazil in 2015, the County Health and Human Services Agency has been very busy testing specimens of patients who traveled to Zika-impacted areas. Nearly 2,350 referrals have been tested in the Public Health Lab.

Of the people tested for Zika in San Diego, 1,866 cases were determined not to be Zika and 94 were confirmed or probable Zika cases, including one sexually transmitted case and a baby born with a birth defect. Nine of the cases were reported in 2017. For more information about Zika, visit SDFightTheBite.com.

 

José A. Álvarez is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact