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Friday, September 02, 2016

ZIKA VIRUS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW


Pinoys in Singapore urged to take precautions vs. Zika
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The Philippine Embassy in Singapore has urged Filipinos who live and work there to take all precautionary measures after the Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed 151 cases of locally transmitted Zika virus infection.


Out of this number, 57 are foreign nationals who tested positive for Zika.

These includes, 10 Bangladeshis, 23 Chinese, 15 Indians, 1 Indonesians, 6 Malaysians, 1 Burmese, and 1 Taiwanese.

Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects according to CDC.

Here's the Zika advisory from the Philippine Embassy in Singapore

1. Those living in the affected areas especially pregnant women should monitor their health. They should seek medical attention if they are unwell, especially with symptoms of fever and rash. Pregnant women should adopt strict mosquito precaution if traveling to affected areas;

2. Sexual partners of pregnant women should practice safe sex or consider abstinence throughout the women’s pregnancy; 

3. To cooperate with the efforts of the National Environment Agency, especially in the conduct of inspections fogging and public education outreach; and 

4. To regularly check the Singapore government’s web page on Zika (www.moh.gov.sg/zika) for latest health advisories.

How to Avoid Zika Virus Mosquitoes?

1. Pick the right mosquito repellent

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends products with active ingredients DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus, picaridin, or IR 3535.

2. Apply it correctly

Bug spray should be applied after sunscreen (otherwise, your SPF may mask it). Don’t wear repellent under clothes; it won’t evaporate and may accumulate on the fabric. Avoid spraying it on cuts or wounds.

Importantly, don’t forget to spritz your feet and ankles. The mosquito that carries Zika virus, the Aedes variety, has a particular attraction to feet. 

3. Repel with your clothes 

You know the drill for avoiding mosquitoes: long pants, long sleeves. Get extra protection with clothing containing permethrin, a synthetic insecticide. 

4. Prep your home 

Just one tablespoon of water can serve as a mosquito breeding ground and produce up to 300 mosquitoes. The insects can breed in the bottom of a glass in the bathroom (like the one you use to brush your teeth with) or in a film of water next to the sink. Eliminate standing water throughout the home, including in flower pots, bottles, and accumulating garbage. 

5. Exercise indoors 

Break a sweat inside. Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide and heat. Your body naturally emits both but cranks up the volume when you work out. 

6. Travel smart 

The best way to avoid Zika virus is to avoid affected areas. Check the list of affected countries.

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What are the symptoms of Zika?

Deaths are rare and only one-in-five people infected is thought to develop symptoms.

These includes:

  • mild fever 
  • conjunctivitis (red, sore eyes) 
  • headache 
  • joint pain 
  • a rash 

A rare nervous system disorder, Guillain-Barre syndrome, that can cause temporary paralysis has been linked to the infection. 

There is no vaccine or drug treatment so patients are advised to rest and drink plenty of fluids. 

But the biggest concern is the impact it could have on babies developing in the womb and the surge in microcephaly.
(Sources :http://www.rd.com/, http://www.bbc.com/, http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore)

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