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How to prevent insect bites and the Zika Virus this summer

Posted on Monday, March 28, 2016 at 11:32 am

Med shop article pictureWith summer almost upon us and the fear of the Zika virus first in everyone’s mind, you might ask yourself ‘ How can I protect my loved ones and myself from Zika, or any other viruses carried by mosquitoes.’ The answer maybe  simpler than you think. Even though there is no vaccine to prevent Zika, there are several steps that you can take to prevent being bitten by insects this summer.

First off, make sure you  apply insect repellent. Though repellent may sound generic, no two repellents are alike and one must consider if the repellent he or she selects will help or hurt their health.  The best way to find out is to read the label. Repellents contain a critical chemical ingredient called diethyltoluamide, or DEET for short. DEET can cause harm to your skin if the DEET content is too high, especially in young  children.   When selecting a repellent, consider how much DEET is in the product, so you can still receive an adequate amount of prevention, without causing harm to your skin.  In addition, there are many natural options you can utilize. Studies have shown that natural products such as soy based products and essential oils such as oil of lemon eucalyptus and peppermint also keep the bugs away. In addition there are many different natural over the counter repellents that you can also utilize. One of these products  is a natural product known as  Picaridin. Picaridin is a formula that is found in Natrapel that is a DEET alternate. It has consistently shown equal or better performance in independent clinical studies as an insect repellent and is safe to use on the skin as well as clothing and other synthetic materials.

However, prevention and protection does not stop there. There are several preventative efforts that you can take to  keep  from being bitten and annoyed by mosquitoes and other insects. When in a prime environment, consider wearing long sleeves and long pants. This will prevent mosquitoes from coming into contact with the skin and will prevent bites from occurring just the same as repellent. When camping or sleeping outside where mosquitoes are prevalent, consider putting up a mosquito net to prevent the insects from getting into your shelter. With more time for outdoor activities at later hours, consider burning a citronella   candle or torch. Mosquitoes are repelled by the smoke and burning Citronella will keep them at a distance.

The Zika outbreak has caused severe panic in the United States and the rest of the world because there is no cure. However, an ounce of prevention is worth  a pound of cure and through these precautions you will be able to better prepare yourself from Zika and any other diseases that might be spread by insects.