One must take precautions against the Aedes aegypti mosquito which carries the Zika virus throughout the year. However, one must take extra care now as the Brazilian winter comes to an end. The cold weather reduces the population of the mosquito and also helps to bring down the number of cases of diseases such as dengue, chikungunya and Zika fever. In contrast, warmer weather and the summer rains create conditions which are ideal for the breeding of Aedes aegypti. If you are thinking of visiting Brazil in the high season, check out some tips on how you can protect yourself against the mosquito.
USE CLOTHES THAT COVER YOUR BODY
Anyone coming to Brazil in the spring or summer rarely dresses in clothing that covers their entire body, but this precaution is necessary. The less amount of skin visible, the lower the chances of you have of being bitten by mosquitoes. Clothes of thicker materials are also preferable as it ensures the wearer would not be bitten through the fabric.
USE INSECT REPELLENT
Use insect repellent all the time. Insect repellents made from a base of DEET, Icaridin and IR3535 are most efficient against mosquitoes that may carry the Zika virus, because they have prolonged action. Spray the repellent, especially on visible areas such as your hands, face and neck, and then also apply onto your clothes, as reinforcement. Always implement the repellent after you use sunblock, and repeat the ritual each time you leave the water.
In your hotel, use insecticide often, especially in corners of walls and dark places. Always spray insecticide behind sofas, domestic appliances, cupboards, and below tables and beds. This measure is even more important in urban locations, where there are more places where the mosquito may breed.
SWITCH ON THE FAN
The Aedes aegypti mosquito that carries Zika does not like the wind since it affects the females’ sense of direction. Hence, to keep mosquitoes at bay, fans and air conditioning can be a powerful ally. The lower the temperature, the less mosquito-friendly the environment shall be.
SLEEP WITH MOSQUITO NETS
Although the Zika-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito is more active during the day, bites also occur during the night. For this reason, insect repellent is a must while use mosquito nets can be utilised as an additional precaution. Such efforts ensure that the mosquitoes shall not be able to reach you, even if the effects of the repellent wear off.