About Zika Virus:

Zika Virus is a mosquito borne illness primarily transmitted to people through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctiveitis (red eyes). Zika virus can also be spread from a pregnant woman to her fetus and has been linked to a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly in babies of mothers who had Zika virus while pregnant. There is currently no vaccine for Zika, so protecting yourself from being bitten by mosquitoes, and avoiding travel to areas where Zika is prevalent is extremely important.

Areas to Avoid:

In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed case of Zika virus in Brazil, and in February, 2016 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Zika a public health emergency of international concern. To date, confirmed Zika cases are most prevelant in Central and South American counties, the Carribbean, and Mexico. For a full list of the most current CDC Travel Health Notices, please visit CDC Travel Health Notices.

Prevention:

In addition to avoiding travel to areas with a known Zika risk, there are a number of steps that should be taken to avoid mosquito bites.

  1. Use nets when traveling. When traveling to regions known to have the Zika virus, sleep under a mosquito bed net — both outdoors and indoors. The CDC recommends both treating clothing and gear with Permethrin, as well as using permethrin pre’treated products like the Atwater Carey® Built–in Insect Shield® mosquito nets and screens that kill or disable insects on contact. If traveling with your child, cover cribs, strollers and baby carriers with mosquito netting.

  2. Use personal insect repellent. When outside be sure to use an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)–registered insect repellent with one of the following four active ingredients, which are also recommended by the CDC: DEET, IR3535®, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE)/para’mentane-diol (PMD), Picaridin.

    Coleman Repellents offers formulas containing three of the four EPA registered and CDC recommended active ingredients, including Coleman® DEET Based Insect Repellent, IR3535® SkinSmart® Insect Repellents, and the plant-based Coleman® Botanicals with OLE. When used as directed, these repellents can protect you from mosquitoes that may carry Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya, and have been proven safe and effective for pregnant women.

  3. Stay indoors during peak times. Although they can be active at night, the mosquitoes that carry Zika are most active and bite most aggressively during the day.

  4. Wear long sleeves and pants; treat your gear. Cover up as much as possible to prevent mosquito bites on exposed skin. Keep colors light, as mosquitoes are attracted to darker hues. Because mosquitoes can bite through thin clothing, it’s recommended that you treat your clothing and gear with permethrin, like Coleman® Gear and Clothing Insect Treatment, to increase effectiveness in preventing mosquito bites. Do NOT use permethrin products directly on the skin.

  5. Mosquito proof your home and yard. Mosquitoes like to lay eggs in and near standing water, therefore it is recommended that you be diligent about removing standing water from planters, buckets, etc. around your home. Be sure to also check your home’s gutters to make certain water is flowing properly. Additionally, ensure your home has tight–fitting screens and windows, repair any holes and use air conditioning when available.