How to Avoid the Zika Virus in Brazil

If you are headed down to Brazil for the Olympics, you should follow these tips to avoid the Zika virus.

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Sun, surf, sand all sound great, but you should add some indoor spectator sports to your trip if you want to avoid Zika.  Mosquitoes carrying Zika will be most prevalent near still, standing water, so try to schedule yourself to watch indoor events in between outdoor matches.  Know ahead of time which venues may be near a pond, such as golf, and try to place yourself away from that body of water.

Talk about sex with any potential partners. All the news is about Zika spreading by mosquitoes but it’s extremely important to be aware that it can be transmitted by a man with Zika to his partner.  Zika travels through semen and can then affect the sexual partner–concerning as Zika virus is associated with fetal brain defects and microcephaly.  If you are already pregnant–don’t go!  (Listen to the CDC.) If you are not pregnant but have the potential to be–avoid sex or use condoms while in Brazil and upon return for 2 weeks.

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Invest in DEET and Linen!  Use insect repellent with 20% DEET (ex/ OFF Deep Woods) to detract mosquitos and avoid Zika. The average bug spray does not contain such a high percentage of DEET, so make sure you read the label. To apply–make sure you apply your sunscreen first and then your bug spray.  Bring long sleeve shirts and long pants as well as light-weight clothing—so if you’ve been waiting to whip out those flowy linen pants, now is the time.  Finally, check out clothing treated with permethrin; the brand ExOfficio makes a cute blue Bugsaway hoodie, with Insect Shield that lasts 70 washes.

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Published by karenmsutton

HSS Orthopaedic surgeon in sports medicine | Mother of 4 amazing children | Team physician for USA Women's Lacrosse | ACL injury expert

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