Updated 01:17 PM EDT, Tue, Oct 19, 2021

Zika Virus to Become a Global Threat? 5 Ways to Protect Yourself

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The Zika virus seems to be slowly spreading around the globe, causing fear among individuals, especially pregnant women.

The New York Times said that as of last month, the virus has been transmitted to about 45 countries in Asia, Africa, the Americas and Pacific Islands, based on a report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some cases were noted in Puerto Rico, Mexico and El Salvador. Many countries have issued travel advisories, but the same report said there is no need to panic.

"There are two things that make people pay attention. It showed up where it has never been before, and it is rapidly spreading. That's because Aedes mosquitoes are widespread throughout most of Latin America and parts of the U.S.," infectious disease doctor Kamran Khan told The New York Times.

Here are a few ways to protect yourself from the Zika Virus:

1. Protect yourself from mosquito bites

The World Health Organization suggests that individuals use insect repellent, wear light-colored clothes that cover the entire body. Screens or mosquito nets can also be used. 

All these precautionary measures should be taken, along with special attention to young children, the elderly and sick people.

2. Pregnant women should reconsider travel plans

NDTV explained that women who are expecting babies should avoid traveling to countries affected by the virus.

A similar CBS News report said that the mosquito-borne disease has been associated with giving birth to babies with very small heads and undeveloped brains, a condition dubbed microcephaly.

Last year, more than 3,5000 women in Brazil had babies born with the said condition.

3. Killing infected mosquitoes

According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, the breeding grounds of these mosquitoes can be eliminated by removing stagnant water in containers, and spraying insecticides to kill them.

4. If infected with virus, avoid spreading it to others

Romper said that during the first week of infection, patients can pass the virus to others. They are advised to apply insect repellent and keep mosquitoes outside of their homes as much as possible.

5. Once infected, treat the symptoms

Zika cases, as per the Center for Health Protection, do not have symptoms, though some can experience headache, fever, rash, muscle pain, joint pain and conjunctivitis. All these symptoms should be treated as they appear, since the virus still does not have a specific vaccine or cure.

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