What can South Texans do to protect themselves and their families from Zika?
There is no vaccine to prevent getting Zika or medication to treat the virus. The only protection available is to avoid traveling to places where Zika is present and to take precautions to avoid being bitten by infected mosquitoes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend using and EPA-approved mosquito repellent over sunscreen, wear long pants and long-sleeved shorts this enough to block bites and sleep in air-conditioned, screened rooms.
San Antonio’s Metropolitan Health District is offering more extensive instructions for protecting yourself and your family, noting that the Aedes Aegypti mosquito is also known as a “container-breeding mosquito” meaning it likes to lay its eggs inside anything that captures standing water. Think bird baths, potted plants, pet bowls, kiddie swimming pools, old tired or even rain gutters. Even once a container dries out, the eggs – stuck to the side of the container – can survive for up to eight months.
When it comes to water, empty open containers, stored water should have a tight lid, keep water clean because debris encourages egg laying and provides a food source to the larvae.
MetroHealth also says to protect yourself consider socks, avoid perfumes and colognes when working outside, insect repellent should contain DEET or Picaridin and should be sprayed on the outside of your clothing. Do not use repellent on infants.