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FlyFoe Blog & News
Mosquito bites can be more than just annoying and itchy. They can make you really sick. Protect yourself and your family when traveling. Using insect repellent is the best way to prevent diseases like Zika, dengue, and chikungunya that are spread by mosquitoes.
Zika virus is primarily spread to people through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease (Zika) are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon, and deaths from Zika are very rare.
CDC has issued a travel notice (Level 2 Alert-Practice Enhanced Precautions) for people traveling to places with Zika virus.
Because Zika can cause birth defects in babies born to women who were infected with Zika virus during pregnancy, CDC recommends the following:
Forty percent of the world’s population lives in an area at risk for dengue and an estimated 390 million people per year are infected with the viruses. Dengue is a disease caused by one of four viruses (dengue virus 1, 2, 3, or 4), and it is possible for someone to get dengue up to four times. Dengue is a leading cause of illness and death in the tropics and subtropics.
Most people infected with dengue have mild or no symptoms. About one in four people who are infected with dengue will develop some symptoms of disease. Mild symptoms of infection begin with a fever and severe headache, pain behind the eyes, joint and muscle pain, and rash. Dengue symptoms can quickly become severe and even fatal. Early recognition of severe disease, followed by close management from a healthcare provider is critical.
The most common symptoms of chikungunya virus infection (chikungunya) are sudden onset of a high fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash. Infection with chikungunya virus is rarely fatal, but the joint pain can often be severe and debilitating. Most patients recover in about a week, although long-term joint pain occurs in some people. Outbreaks have occurred in countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
In late 2013, chikungunya virus was found for the first time in the Americas on islands in the Caribbean. Since then, chikungunya has spread to 45 countries and almost 2 million cases have been reported. Though chikungunya is not common in the continental United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have had large outbreaks.
When used as directed, insect repellents are the BEST way to protect yourself and family members from getting sick from mosquito bites.
Make a check list of everything you’ll need for an enjoyable vacation and use the following resources to help you prepare.
Mosquito bites are bothersome enough, but when you consider risks, like getting sick with Zika, dengue, or chikungunya, it’s important that you choose an insect repellent that works well and that you feel comfortable regularly using.
Visit your healthcare provider right away if you develop a fever, headache, rash, muscle or joint pain.