Where’d Zika Go?

April 19, 2018

Just out of the headlines. With few Americans affected and Zika mosquitoes now a permanent fixture, there’s not much new to say—but it’s still there, and if you’re traveling, or you live in Florida, you should stay aware of the threat.

Zika damages brain cells. Even adults make new brain cells, but the damage is most noticeable in unborn babies and children under three. Zika can cause microcephaly and other severe symptoms in children, but especially in babies, and the parents may never have shown any symptoms. There’s a strong warning that anyone who may get pregnant stay out of Zika territories because it can lay dormant in genitals for weeks or even months.

People should also worry about Zika of they’ve ever had another tropical mosquito borne illness like Yellow Fever, Chik-V, Dengue Fever, etc. While each virus confers lifelong immunity, if you get another related virus, the symptoms become much worse and potentially life threatening. For most healthy adults, Zika is asymptomatic, but it can turn serious if you already have a history of tropical disease (or immunization to one).

The US is at renewed risk each summer for the mosquito that carries Zika and other disease, Aedes aegypti, to spread here. A good portion of the US has a climate it likes, and all it takes is a few suitcase stowaways. Most at risk is Florida, who has an action plan to deter mosquitoes county by county. The only problem is that Aedes aegypti’s success comes from living intimately with people, right under your bed in fact. Wiping out Aedes aegypti is more of a household by household problem. (Air conditioning and non-toxic treatments can help).

If you’re traveling, know that most of the Southern hemisphere has Zika. The CDC has travel warnings for Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Asia, and Africa (visit the CDC to see which specific regions). Areas not listed are still at a much greater risk. Because people get lifelong immunity, locals have had their turn with it and it’s now tourists who need to beware.

Immune support from colloidal silver can help, especially if you’re at risk for severe symptoms from a prior infection. Still follow the travel warnings, and if you’re in the Southern US, stay on top of mosquito news and prevention.

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