Some Zika virus do’s & don’ts – a practical guide.


With the Rio Olympics and Paralympics over, the focus for the Zika virus has moved with hotspots of the virus being reported across the Africa and Asia Pacific regions due largely to mosquito friendly weather conditions.

A recent cluster of cases in Singapore has given cause for concern and if you live in any of the regions affected, or are likely to be visiting, then you may find the following facts, do’s and don’ts very helpful:

Key facts

·         Zika virus disease is caused by a virus transmitted primarily by Aedes mosquitoes.

·         People with Zika virus disease can have symptoms including mild fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache.

·         These symptoms normally last for 2-7 days.

·         There is scientific consensus that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome.

·         Links to other neurological complications are also being investigated

Do’s:

Prevent and control mosquito breeding by:

    • Covering all water tanks and containers with tight lids.
    • Disposing & destroying all unused containers, junk materials, tyres, coconut shells etc.
    • Emptying, scrubbing & dry deserting coolers every week before refilling.
    • Using larvivorous fish in ornamental tanks at houses and hotels
    • Observing a weekly dry day
    • Emptying and scrubbing all containers holding water for a week like bird bath, flower vase, ant-trappers etc

 

For Personal Protection

·         Use bed-net at home and hospital during Dengue/ Zika Virus fever to prevent mosquito bite so as to interrupt transmission.

·         To avoid mosquito bite during day time wear full sleeved clothing and apply mosquito repellent.

For managing fever

·         Use paracetamol for fever.

 Don’ts

    • Don’t allow water to stagnate in and around your house in coolers, buckets barrels, flower pots, bird baths, freeze trays, coconut shells etc.
    • Don’t throw broken utensils, unused bottles, tins, old tyres and other junk materials here and there as Aedes mosquitoes breed in these objects during rainy season.
    • Don’t use Aspirin to treat fever.
    • There is no specific medicine for Zika Virus disease
    • Don't self-medicate – always consult your doctor 

Prevention against Mosquito Bites

Protection against mosquito bites is a key measure to prevent Zika virus infection. This can be done by wearing clothes (preferably light-coloured) that cover as much of the body as possible; using physical barriers such as window screens or closing doors and windows; sleeping under mosquito nets; and using insect repellent containing DEET, IR3535 or icaridin according to the product label instructions.

Special attention and help should be given to those who may not be able to protect themselves adequately, such as young children, the sick or elderly. Travellers and those living in affected areas should take the basic precautions described above to protect themselves from mosquito bites.

More information is available on www.who.int as well as government websites.

Keep safe if you are travelling around and remember – Mayfair Cares.

With acknowledgement and thanks to the World Health Organisation