Mosquito bites and other insect bites are a common nuisance during the
summer. Sometimes, mosquitoes can transmit serious illnesses like dengue
and Lyme disease. Recently, concerns have been raised about the possibility
of Zika virus transmission. This virus is a particular concern for women
of reproductive age because of the possibility of microcephaly-a serious
condition that can affect newborns. So far, all of the Zika cases reported
in Florida have not involved transmissions from the local mosquito population;
however, it’s still best to take precautions. Pregnant women who
think they may have been exposed to Zika while traveling abroad can find
the guidance they need at
Mercy Hospital, which features a dedicated maternity team.
Reduce Your Exposure
There are a few ways that you can
reduce your risk of insect bites, such as by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Consider tucking
your shirt into your pants and your pant legs into your socks. Check the
window screens in your home for gaps where bugs can enter and repair or
replace these items as needed. Instead of leaving doors and windows open,
consider using air conditioning units.
Apply Insect Repellent
While outdoors, you may wish to wear insect repellent. First, apply sunscreen
and allow it to dry. Then, spray on an EPA-registered insect repellent
over your clothing and exposed skin. Look for products that contain at
least 20% DEET. Products with DEET are known to be most effective; however,
other helpful ingredients can include picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus,
and para-menthane-diol (PMD). Read the label on the product you choose
and apply as directed.
Use Caution Before Traveling
Due to the potential risks associated with Zika virus, some families may
wish to reconsider their travel plans this summer. It’s important
to note that the virus itself rarely causes major symptoms, but there
is a risk of birth defects. Consider talking to a doctor about the risks
of Zika exposure in the areas where you plan on traveling.
If you suffer an adverse reaction to an insect bite or believe you may
have contracted an infectious disease, you can turn to the team at Mercy
Hospital for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment options.
Call a registered nurse at (305) 854-4400 or visit us online to learn
more about our hospital services. These include wound care, pediatrics,
emergency care, and maternity care in Miami.