May 26, 2016
Author: Steven Greene, MD
Information regarding the Zika Virus has stirred concern in many people–especially those traveling abroad. It’s important to not only understand the facts regarding Zika, but to educate yourself on proper preventative measures.
How to protect yourself against the Zika Virus:
Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants.
Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are overseas or outside and are not able to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol. Choosing an EPA-registered repellent ensures the EPA has evaluated the product for effectiveness. When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breast-feeding women.
Always follow the product label instructions.
Reapply insect repellent as directed.
Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing.
If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen before applying insect repellent.
Speak with a board-certified dermatologist if you have questions or concerns regarding the proper usage of bug repellent on yourself or a child.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID)
Division of Vector-Borne Diseases (DVBD)