At the point of writing, there has already been over 82 cases of CONFIRMED Zika Virus Cases in Singapore and even countries such as Taiwan, has raised Travel warning notice for Singapore to level 2.
The threat is real and is now on home soil. If you haven’t gotten yourself educated about it, it’s about time you did.
What is the Effects of Zika Virus?
The Zika Virus isn’t anything new, it has in fact been around since 1950s and first found in Zika Forest of Uganda. The Zika Virus is primarily a mosquito-borne virus and it is most notoriously known for causing microcephaly in babies (a condition where a baby’s head is much smaller than expected). While the Zika virus is particularly harmful to pregnant women, historically, Zika Viruses hasn’t been known to case death in humans. However, in recent years, there have been reported cases of complications that led to death due to the Zika Virus. Latest scientist findings have also linked the Zika Virus to an increase possibility of Alzheimer’s disease in adults and deafness in babies.
Till date, there is no known vaccine or anti-viral treatment. However, over 9 out of 10 women who are infected with the Zika Virus deliver normal babies.
Symptoms of Zika Virus
One of the dangers of the Zika Virus is that in most cases, people infected with Zika often do not develop any symptoms. In the cases that do, the symptoms are also mild and not distinctive. Known symptoms include skin rash, fever, conjunctivitis (sore eyes), joint, muscle and headaches. The only way to know for a fact whether a person has been infected is through proper tests at a hospital.
Which are in affected Zika Virus areas in Singapore?
Of the 82 reported cases, none of the affected individuals have travelled to Zika affected countries. It is thus most likely that they were infected in Singapore and that local transmission has taken place.
While the majority of confirmed cases are in Aljunied area, some of these residents and workers do live and travel to other areas of Singapore. Hence we cannot dismiss the risk of other areas having zika as well.
As of 30th August, these are the list of areas of concern that are highlighted by the Ministry of Health:
7 ways to protect yourself from the Zika Virus
1 Avoid Traveling to Zika Infected Countries
The World Health Organization has declared the Zika Virus a public health emergency earlier this year. People, and especially pregnant women, should avoid traveling to Zika Infected Countries.
2. Use Mosquito Repellant
The Aedes Mosquito is primarily active in the day and it is recommended that you apply mosquito repellant when you are heading out in the day. A report by Consumer Reports have found that the best Repellants against the Aedes Mosquitoes are Sawyer Picaridin, Natrapel 8 Hour, Off! and Deepwoods VIII, of which, only Off! is available in Singapore (The Famous Orange can).
If you are applying sunscreen as well, apply your sunscreen before you apply the repellant.
3. Close your windows and Curtains when you at home
When you are home, prevent mosquitoes from flying in by closing your windows and drawing your curtains. Most people would choose to use Day Curtains as on top of acting as a barrier for mosquitoes, Day Curtains still allow natural light into the home.
Do note that back of the curtains would also serve as a mosquito hot spot as mosquitos can get trapped between the window and the curtain. Do spray insecticides regularly in those areas.
4. Wear light coloured and long sleeve clothes
Numerous studies has shown that mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors as they generally trap heat. Reduce your chances of getting bitten by opting to wear light coloured clothes and reduce exposure of skin by wearing long sleeve clothes.
On the same vein, it would also be wise to use lighter coloured fabrics for your home’s soft furnishing such as curtains, carpets, rags, up-holstery etc. Lighter coloured Fabrics are not only in trend, but also helps to deter against the Aedes Mosquito, a double benefit.
5. Use Condoms when having Sex
What is not known to many is that aside from being bitten directly by an infected Aedes Mosquito, the Zika Virus can also be spread from human to human via sexual transmission which includes but is not limited to vaginal, anal, oral and sharing of sex toys. It is recommended that you use condoms when having sexually intercourse with someone who is suspected or have just visited a Zika infected country as condoms do act as a barrier to reduce the chances of the virus spreading. Scientist are still currently investigating whether Zika can be transmitted through saliva through kissing.
6. Make your home an inhospitable place for Mosquitoes
Aside from preventing mosquitoes from getting into your home, it is also important to ensure that they do not breed from within. Research has found that Female mosquitoes can spread the Zika Virus to their eggs. Make your home an inhospitable place for mosquitoes by ensuring that there is no stale water or ponding areas.
7. Use Insect Screens on your windows
One of the most effective ways of keeping mosquitoes out is the use of Insect Screens. Magnetic Insect Screens come with a layer of magnet around its borders which easily sticks to your window frames. It is easy to install, apply and helps to keep not just mosquitos out, but also other creepy crawlies. Most people know Curtain Boutique as a Leading Singapore Curtains & Blinds supplier, but what is not known to most is that we do supply Magnetic Insect Screens as well. Speak with us today to find out more.
Share this article with your loved ones & help protect them from the dangers of the Zika Virus which is now a real threat in Singapore.
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