Isn’t mosquito season over?! Nope! I mean, it is if you live in the north and are enjoying a white Christmas. But if it’s still warm (like at the beach!) they’re still active and happy to bite you.
Checking the news for anywhere you go is always a good idea. Disease outbreaks, freak weather, local politics, all can ruin your trip. You might be able to manage the first one yourself, by seeing a doctor to get relevant vaccines, or just packing some bugspray.
Here’s what’s going on in our Hemisphere:
Headed to Hawaii? Beware they’ve got an outbreak of Dengue Fever, a painful malady you can get multiple times (and it gets worse, not better, with repeat exposure). It started in a group of tourists exploring inland who happened upon a group of mosquitoes carrying the virus (It’s not the first Dengue outbreak in Hawaii, and it’s been near impossible to 100% ensure it’s eradicated). The outbreak has since grown to over a hundred cases!
What about the Caribbean? Mosquitoes there carry Chik-V, another painful virus (although you only have to get it once!). Chik-V is also working it’s way up the East coast during our own warmer months—but for now, it’s just something to worry about for those hoping to escape the snow storms for the beach.
Unfortunately, since arriving in our Hemisphere a few years ago, Chick-V has gotten stronger.
Headed even further South? After all, it’s spring in the Southern Hemisphere. Alas, last year another virus arrived to the West, called the Zika virus, and has since spread to several countries in South America (and will likely eventually spread to the US).
The bright side is that for most people the Zika virus is mild, and doesn’t even warrant a trip to the doctor. The dark side is that there are several unconfirmed links to very severe complications, including birth defects (particularly microcephaly) and triggering Guillain-Barré syndrome.
Here are the (unfortunate) common denominators to all these mosquito-borne illnesses:
-No Cure/Treatment—just standard comforts like pain relievers, rest, fluids
-Only Prevention Is Bug Spray/Avoidance
Here’s what you can do if you’re set on the dream of Christmas/New Year’s on the beach: prepare. Bug spray, appropriate clothing (linen is a great warm weather material for long sleeves and pant legs), knowing where the local hospitals are (and how they’re rated, and how your insurance works), and having a plan in case you miss your plane because you’re ill.
You can also pack some support for yourself! Throw some colloidal silver in your checked bag (by some, I’d bring at least one, maybe 2 bottles a person, just in case!). Pack an extra pair of pajamas/lounge clothes. Add in whatever OTC pain reliever you favor.
Then, enjoy your vacation!
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