The Right Gear to Protect You and Your Family from Zika VirusPosted by Tom Lucero | 04.26.2016
For years, we’ve learned to be vigilant of insect bites, primarily from mosquitoes, because of the potential in transmitting diseases such as West Nile Virus and malaria. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned of the increase of Zika virus. The illness is especially concerning for women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
What is Zika Virus?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, Zika virus disease is non-fatal disease, transmitted by mosquito bites, which not fatal in most situations. Symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis, A.K.A. "pink eye."
Currently, there is no vaccine or medication to treat Zika virus. The CDC encourages those who think they may have Zika-like symptoms to visit their physician. Zika treatment is uncomplicated - rest, hydration, and acetaminophen can treat the symptoms of the virus in about a week.
Despite the uncomplicated nature of treating the virus, Zika can seriously affect women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. The virus has the potential to cause birth defects to women who had the Zika virus during or before their pregnancy. The virus is linked to microcephaly, a birth defect where a baby’s head is much smaller than expected, resulting in absent or poorly developed brain structures.
“Babies who have microcephaly will have difficulty walking or not walk at all, have a hard time writing, learning to read and may need to take medications to prevent seizures for the rest of his/her life,” said CBC’s Dr. Albra Batista, a neurosurgeon in who recently visited Capina Granda in the Northeastern part of Brazil.
Whether traveling around the world, or just around the park, you can protect yourself from insect transmitted diseases without having to walk around in a beekeeping suit.
Craghoppers and ExOfficio both use permethrin on their NosiLife and BugsAway apparel. The treatment is designed to withstand over 70 washings, is non-toxic, and non-irritant. Clothing treated with permethrin includes shirts, hats, pants and shorts in a variety of styles.
If the thought of wearing a chemical treated shirt makes you concerned, Craghoppers developed NosiDefense clothing. Clothing from this fabric is made of specially constructed fibers that are too tough for mosquitoes to penetrate. There is no chemical treatment on this clothing, but it still offers protection from bug bites.
If insect repellent clothing is not in your family’s budget, consider using a bug repellent spray, or sleep with your sleeping bag or cot covered with a mosquito net shelter. You can find select insect repellents and shelters here or at your local Jax Outdoor Gear location.
Prevention is Best
You could stay inside all summer and avoid Zika, West Nile or Malaria. But there's no fun in that! No matter what brings you outdoors, make sure you stay protected, either with your choice of insect repellent, or with the proper clothing.