Lifestyles Center Blog

MASTERING MONDAY: MASTERING THE ZIKA VIRUS

With summer fast approaching there are probably loads of activities on your summer bucket list. Some of these activities may include camping, hiking, or even going to a concert. There are a lot of things you may want to bring on these trips. From sun screen to bug spray, there is a lot to remember. The bug spray is especially helpful when trying to deter mosquitos from eating you alive and with the media frenzy on the Zika virus; we thought it would be helpful to give you everything you should know about it to keep yourself safe and healthy.

Watch This:

This SciShow episode talks about what we do and do not know about the Zika virus. The video talks about the start of the virus in the Zika Forest in Uganda in 1947, particularly found in the rhesus monkey. The reason this is the first time we are hearing about it is because it wasn’t as prevalent as it is today. Scientists and researchers are working around the clock to develop a vaccine for the Zika virus so it can prevent people from getting it. The virus itself can be harmless, but the effects it has on pregnant women and their babies concerns doctors and scientists around the world. Overall, this video is a good watch so you know the basic lowdown on the growing issue.

For the full video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUlGN5XJ5dcRead This:

This Huffington Post article talks about how the outbreak of the Zika virus started. The first known place where the Zika was spread to was back in 2013. It went from French Polynesia and spread to neighboring Pacific Islands. This virus comes from infected mosquitos. While the sickness is typically associated with mosquito-to-human transfer, the way the virus usually spreads is normally human to human. Women who are pregnant are in danger because the virus could lead to birth defects in the baby. One disorder that is linked to the Zika virus is called microcephaly. This birth defect makes the development of the babies’ brains and heads not fully develop. This is a really big deal because on average, 156 babies per year are born with microcephaly in places like Brazil.

For the full article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/guide-to-zika virus_us_56a272afe4b076aadcc675b6

Do This:

Here is a small list of tips that you can use to help protect yourself from contracting the Zika virus.

  1. Don’t be silly wrap your willy: Unlike other viruses that are spread by mosquitos like dengue and other flaviviruses, Zika can be spread through sexual contact. Researchers have found the virus in male sperm. Add this to the list of really good reasons to wear condoms.
  2. Sleep underneath a mosquito net: If you are going to be in an area where there are going to be infected mosquitos, here is a way to remain protected. A mosquito net is like a canopy that goes over your bed to make sure that no mosquitos can bite you.
  3. Wear long sleeves and Pants: This tip is a no brainer. If you wear a long sleeve cotton shirt and a pair of jeans, mosquitos are less likely to be able to penetrate your clothes to reach your skin to bite you. This can also be an alternative to using nasty smelling bug spray.
  4. Speaking of it, maybe you should use bug spray: Another precaution to take while doing activities outside in the summer, is to use bug spray that is approved by the EPA or Environmental Protection Agency. Make sure to use as directed! Some of the most effective bug sprays to help prevent mosquito bites include bug sprays containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para methane-diol.
  5. Close your windows: I know with it being hot outside, your house is going to be 10 times hotter. While the first thing you may want to do is open a window, you may be putting yourself at risk for coming into contact with mosquitos that are infected with the Zika virus.

Written and Researched by: Peer Educator Emily Cooley

Photo Cred: Zika Virus