Over the weekend , news of Zika Virus spreading in Singapore cause a stir in this tiny red dot. The last count was a staggering 41 confirm infection over 2 days. Given that dengue numbers averages 200-600 per week, this number would only increase on a daily basis.
Compared to the dreaded annual haze which we had experienced on Friday, this is a potentially scarier situation. It is well documented that Zika Virus pose a threat to pregnant women as there is a risk of transmission to the unborn babies, resulting in babies born with abnormally small head ( a disease known as microcephaly)
As Zika Virus is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, symptoms similar to dengue may also occur. Rashes, muscle pain, joint pain , malaise, fever and conjunctivitis are symptoms associated with Zika. Zika Virus will affect anyone that is bitten with it regardless of age, sex and gender. In some cases, there might just be mild or no symptoms. The biggest threat of Zika is the complication to unborn child for infected pregnant women.
To protect yourself against virus, do consider the following options
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1) Mosquito Coils
Mosquitoes coils are good at repelling mosquitoes. Ask any NSmen and they can vouch for its effectiveness in mosquito infested jungle. As effective as it is , burning mosquito coils at home can be rather cumbersome in the long run, with the smoke and ashes from the coil a possible fire hazard.
2) Electric Repellent
Electric Repellent is an alternative. It comes with refillable liquid refills that last for 30 nights. The problem is that if you leave it on for the whole day, each refill can only last for about 10 days or so.
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3) Mosquito Vapouriser
Personally we are using Mosquito Vapouriser . It works like aromatherapy with 60 days protection. No electricity is needed and it is highly effective.
4) Mosquito Repellent Plant
For those who prefer natural repellent, get the following plants to put around the house. Lemon Balm, Lavender, Basil and Rosemary are effective against mosquitoes. Get at least one pot per room for effective coverage.
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5) Check for stagnant water around the house
The best cure is prevention. Check for stagnant water around the house as it is a favourite breeding ground for mosquitoes. Stagnant water can be found underneath flower pots, flower vases, uncovered toilet bowls, air con trays. If you are on holidays, make sure all pots are turn over and toilet bowls are covered. It takes about a week for mosquito to grow from eggs to a full grown mosquitoes.
The following repellent are NOT recommended
1) 'Innovative' Mosquito repellents
Repellents using carbon dioxide and heat are unproven and may not be as effective as it claims.
2) Ultra violent Light device
Great against flies, less useful against mosquitoes.
The greater danger would probably be when you are outdoors. Use the following to protect yourself outdoors.
1) Mosquito Patches
Great for kids and adults who might be allergic to sprays
2) Mosquito Sprays
Both Mosquito patches and sprays only protects for a certain period of time, so do have continuous application if you are staying outdoors for a longer time than expected. It is better to take extra caution, especially for expected mothers. Better to be safe than to be bitten.