How to Prevent Zika Virus

With the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro just having ended, it’s easy to forget about the deeply troubling health issue that overshadowed most of this year’s lead up to the Games. Zika virus started getting attention last year, with the peak in January 2016 when travel advisories were issued by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for areas that were being heavily affected by the virus. This includes many countries in South America, Central America, and Oceania.

While it’s tempting to worry about Zika virus making its way to the United States, it’s important to realize that there have been relatively few cases in the continental USA, and of that small number, an even fewer number have resulted in any significant symptoms. If you’re worried about contracting the Zika virus, read on to see how to best protect yourself.

What is the Zika virus?

Zika virus was discovered in 1947. It is spread two different ways — the most common way is from certain types of mosquitos to humans through their bite. Only the Aedes family of mosquitos carry the virus, so cases of Zika are highest in areas where these mosquitos breed and grow. The other way that is is spread is through penetrative sex — a person infected with the virus will spread it to their partner through either semen or vaginal fluid.

Tacio Philip Sansonovski / Shutterstock.com
Tacio Philip Sansonovski / Shutterstock.com
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