Brazilian doctor Sergio Cortes has been discussing the Zika virus after the recent outbreak in his home country in Brazil. Writing on his official website Dr. Cortes describes how Zika is transmitted and how to protect yourself from contracting it.
How Does One Get The Zika Virus?
A person gets the Zika virus when he or she is bitten my a mosquito that is a carrier of the Zika virus. The mosquito species Aedes aegypti is the only known species of mosquito that carries the Zika virus. This species of mosquito is also responsible for transmitting other tropical illnesses such as dengue fever as well as chikungunya.
Dr. Sergio Cortes stresses the fact that Zika is not contagious. This means that you cannot contract the virus from another human being who has become infected with the Zika virus.
If a mosquito that is not a carrier of the virus sucks the blood of an individual who has the Zika virus, than that mosquito now becomes a carrier of the virus and can spread it to other people. This is why Zika outbreaks, once they occur are very difficult to control. This chain reaction of infection describes Dr. Sergio Cortes is very difficult to control.
How Can I Protect Myself Against Getting The Zika Virus?
The Aedes aegypti is the only known mosquito that transmits the Zika virus. This mosquito prefers to lay its eggs in clean water. It can lays its eggs in virtually any standing water describes Sergio Cortes. Whether there is standing water in a kettle, bottle, pothole, dogbowl, tire or puddle, the Aedes aegypti mosquito can and will lay its eggs there. Pans, buckets are other items that can have standing water and should be drained and put away in a dry location. The best way to prevent getting the Zika virus is to eliminate any standing water you may have in and around your home. These mosquitoes are extremely resilient and will try to reproduce in any water source available to them. This is why it is so important to eliminate any standing water sources.
If there is standing water in a neighborhood yard or abandoned lot, Dr. Cortes says to get in contact with the Municipal Health Department, who will address the issue. Other ways of preventing the Zika virus include installing protective mosquito proof screens on windows. If you live in an area with a lot of mosquitoes putting mosquito nets around a bed is also a good idea. Mosquitoes and other biting insects love to be active at night.