Zika Answers From A Pediatrician
Five things moms should know about Zika:
- Zika is primarily spread through infected mosquitoes and through sex, not through casual contact with an infected person.
- The best way to prevent Zika is to prevent mosquito bites.
- Zika infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, for which there is no cure.
- Pregnant women should not travel to areas known to have Zika outbreaks.
- Returning travelers infected with Zika can spread the virus through sex; therefore, they should take precautions and wear condoms during sex or avoid getting pregnant for 8 weeks if asymptomatic, and for at least 6 months if symptomatic.
Because the number of locally contracted Zika cases continues to increase in Florida, Dr. Edna Tello will provide you with the latest practical recommendations for any children going back to school or daycare:
- The use of repellents containing the chemical DEET is recommended in children 2 months and older. Use only 10% for infants and no higher than 30% DEET for children spending time outside. One application per day for routine outside activities is sufficient.
- Do not spray insect repellent directly on the face. Spray on your hands first, then rub small amount on face if needed. Avoid eyes and mouth.
- Have children wear long pants and long sleeves.
- Avoid oils as they need multiple applications to be effective.
- Remember to wash little hands after playing outside, and wash all clothing exposed to repellent.
- The symptoms of Zika are fever, joint pain, conjunctivitis, and rash. If these symptoms appear, please consult your pediatrician and communicate with the school immediately.
- You can help minimize the mosquito population in your community by getting rid of containers with free standing water, mowing the grass, and using window screens.
We appreciate the helpful insight from our ihelpmoms.com family professionals and experts!
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