For those women, try to avoid traveling to Zika-endemic areas. Zika virus can be spread from a pregnant woman to her fetus and has been linked to a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly in babies of mothers who had Zika virus while pregnant. You should also prevent mosquito bites. Women trying to get pregnant and their male partners should talk to their healthcare provider before traveling to areas with Zika. Because sexual transmission is possible, both men and women should strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the trip.
In the absence of vaccines or chemoprophylaxis, the prevention of Zika virus infection follows the general rules for other vectorborne infections. Broadly speaking, this involves two major areas, personal protection through bite avoidance and vector control.
1, Bite avoidance
Bite avoidance is equally important to both residents in and travellers to endemic areas. Personal protection includes general measures such as protective clothings, proper choice and use of insect repellents, and mosquito-proofing of houses. The use of insecticide-impregnated bednets has been one of the core elements in the prevention and control vectorborne diseases such as malaria in endemic countries. However, its role against the Aedes vectors of Zika virus depends on the behaviours of the vectors in specific geographical areas. In general, Ae.aegypti mosquitoes are endophilic (resting indoors), endophagous (biting indoors), anthropophagic (preferentially biting humans), and diurnal and crepuscular in their activities. Ae. albopictus mosquitoes are generally exophilic (resting outdoors), exophagous (biting indoors), and anthropophilic, and are aggressive daytime biters.
2, Vector control
Vector control is the only long-term solution to the control of vectorborne diseases. During outbreak situations, emergency measures such as the use of space spray (fogging) may be deployed to rapidly bring down the number of biting adults and terminate disease transmission. Vector control measures must go hand in hand with vector surveillance, not only to monitor the density of mosquitoes (which may sometimes be correlated with the risk of transmission), but also to detect colonization by invasive species which may contribute to local spread of the infection.
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