5 Ways to Protect Yourself Against the Zika Virus in SingaporeLUMI
With recent reports on cases of locally transmitted Zika virus in Serangoon Gardens, we have to do what we can to protect ourselves and our loved ones from contracting the virus.
What is the Zika virus?
It is a mosquito-borne virus that was first discovered in Uganda in the late 1940s and have since made its way around the globe – transmitting from mosquito to human and from people to more people.
The Zika virus has been known to affect visual development and cause abnormally small heads (microcephaly) in infants whose mothers were infected while pregnant. This nefarious virus is also a trigger of Guillain–Barré syndrome (a rapid-onset muscle weakness), neuropathy (a result of damage to the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord) and myelitis (inflammation of the spinal cord) amongst adults and older children.
What are the symptoms of the Zika virus?
Strangely enough, the majority of people who are infected do not show any outward symptoms of the virus. However, if they do, these are the symptoms:
- Mild fever
- Conjunctivitis (pinkeye)
- Mild headaches
- Muscle and joint pain
- Malaise (a condition of general bodily weakness or discomfort)
5 ways you can protect yourself against the Zika virus
As NEA begins vector control operations around Serangoon Gardens by misting and thermal fogging outdoors, we should also stay vigilant and do whatever we can to protect ourselves and our loved ones. After all, there is no cure for Zika. Symptoms of the virus can take weeks, months or even years to be rid of!
1. Apply mosquito repellant
Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents and apply them whenever you have to head outdoors. You’ll only need to apply the repellant on areas of your skin that is exposed – it’s not necessary to apply it under your clothing. If you’re using sunblock, it is advisable that you apply the sunblock first, wait about 5 minutes for it to dry and then apply the insect repellant. We promise, it’d be more effective that way!
2. Remove stagnant water
Mosquitoes breed in stagnant, standing water so even just pouring out water that has collected in your pails, cans and buckets would do a whole lot in preventing breeding. NEA advises that we play out part by doing the 5-step mozzie wipeout:
- Turn the pail
- Tip the vase
- Flip the flowerpot plate
- Loosen the hardened soil
- Clear the roof gutter
3. Control mosquitoes inside of your home
Leave your doors and windows closed as much as possible and switch on the air conditioning! You could even kill mosquitoes inside of your home by using indoor insect sprays or investing in a mosquito trap. We recommend the MosClean UV LED Mosquito Trap which is truly one of the safest ways to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites because it doesn’t use any chemicals. In fact, UV LED is an extremely effective way of trapping mosquitoes and reducing mosquito populations! At just $69 (U.P. $88), this unit will go a long way in protecting you and your loved ones from the Zika virus.
4. Stay covered
Reduce the amount of skin exposed by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when you’re outdoors. Consider applying permethrin onto your clothing as an extra measure against mosquito bites.
5. Remain indoors
Where possible, try to stay indoors as much as you can. It’s also best to avoid outdoor activities especially at dawn and dusk.