There’s Zika and Much, Much More
The 2016 Olympics in Rio, were a highlight to the Zika virus. The mosquito borne disease had dominated the headlines and many were concerned of the risk to health when travelling to this part of the world. However, although the awareness of the virus was thankfully transmitted with more success than the virus itself, many people seemed to forget the possibility of contracting other tropical diseases.
U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes and staff who traveled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the 2016 Summer Games did not become infected with Zika virus but did test positive for other tropical, mosquito-borne viral infections, including West Nile Virus, Dengue Fever and Chikungunya. Results from the University of Utah Health-led study were reported at IDWeek, a national infectious disease conference being held in San Diego
As with many mosquito borne diseases, the symptoms can go undetected for quite some time. Let’s look at Chikungunya for example, as we’ve not addressed this virus for some time and it’s important to maintain awareness, so that we don’t just focus on what disease is currently highlighted in news reports.
The best way to ensure our health isn’t at risk from these life threatening pests, is to ensure we do our best to protect ourselves and prevent getting bitten in the first place.
Mosquitoes use their vision to search for food sources during the daylight hours. And since they fly very close to the ground, they tend to find targets by looking for things that contrast with the horizon, Day says. “Dark colors stand out, but light colors are less attractive to them,” he adds.
There are many do’s and don’ts when it comes to protecting yourself, so if you’re not sure, seek expert advice. It’s worth the time and effort to avoid health risks, annoying pests and to contribute to the fight against mosquitoes and their growing myriad of transmittable diseases to humans.
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