How can I reduce my risk for exposure to Zika virus?

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There are some simple ways to decrease your risk for exposure to Zika virus. It is important to wear mosquito repellent and protective clothing if you are in an area that is known to have a lot of mosquitoes. It is also helpful to decrease your risk for Zika virus by avoiding travel to areas with a high prevalence of Zika infections and transmission.
There are several ways to reduce your risk for exposure to Zika virus. A campaign in South Florida called “Drain and Cover” encourages all residents to drain standing water from all outside vessels and to cover up with protective clothing when outdoors. The following are some tips for how to effectively drain standing water:
  • Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where sprinkler or rainwater has collected.
  • Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that aren't being used.
  • Empty and clean birdbaths and pets' water bowls at least once or twice a week.
  • Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don't accumulate water.
  • Maintain the water balance (pool chemistry) of swimming pools. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.
Use the following tips for how to cover and protect your skin with clothing and repellent:
  • If you must be outside when mosquitoes are active, cover up.
  • Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long sleeves.
  • Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing.
  • Always use repellents according to the label.
  • Repellents with DEET, picardidin, oil of lemon eucalyptus and IR3535 are effective.
  • Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months.
Reducing mosquito access to your house is also recommended. The following are some ways to protect your home:
  • Cover doors and windows with screens.
  • Repair broken screens and on windows, doors, porches and patios.

Continue Learning about Zika Virus

Zika Virus

Zika Virus

Zika virus is a tropical disease that is spread by Aedes species of mosquitoes. Until 2015, the virus was limited to small outbreaks in regions of Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands. Mosquitoes can pick up the virus by biting an ...

n infected person, and then transmit it to someone else they bite later. The virus doesn’t generally spread from person to person directly, though sexual transmission is possible.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.