Hi ya Gorgeous,
You may be seeing the Zika virus in the news. It can be alarming and concerning at the same time! What about spring break travel plans, or summer vacation travel? I’ve interviewed author and health economist James Rutherford for answers. You can also educate yourself now by getting his book on Amazon today “Zika Virus: A Guide For Women“.
1. What’s the best way to protect yourself and kids from the zika virus?
Protection from the Zika virus is difficult due to its unique characteristics, which pose a much larger danger in comparison to other mosquito-borne virus types, such as Dengue fever. Now, I will most likely come across a tad technical later in your questions, but this is intentional because only through knowing everything you can will it be possible to provide yourself and your kids the best protection.
Firstly, measures commonly undertaken in high-risk areas should be followed closely. For example, spraying permethrin-based repellent on clothing. It is important, also, not to allow your home to become a breeding option for mosquitoes. Zika is typically transmitted through a particular species of mosquito that has been shown to infect people during daylight hours. For that reason, it is crucial to ensure the safety of your home, garage and garden. Flower pots, dustbins, a slip ‘n slide – any object or place that can hold stale water should be cleared regularly and sprayed.
Of course, travel to high-risk countries and cities should also be avoided.
But, Zika is unique within mosquito-borne viruses. Providing people with the knowledge of the unique danger of Zika was the motivation of writing my book. Zika is here to stay, but not only due to its rapid spread throughout the world. We have the Zika-transmitting mosquito here with us, and people are already spreading the virus amongst themselves and will continue to do so until a vaccine is found.
Unfortunately, protection from mosquitoes is not enough. Person-to-person will become the main transmission source in the U.S. It is difficult to explain without omitting key information, so I’ll summarize a few topics covered in the book: how long Zika can linger in the body; how Zika implants itself in our internal organs; how sex is not the only method for people to spread Zika amongst each other; how, in some cases, Zika can have a lasting effect on reproductive organs; how Zika has been found in an active state, contagious, in unobvious bodily fluids a long time after infection.
Protective measures against Zika, therefore, is complex, but through gaining as much knowledge as you can and a rigorous safety protocol you can minimise your risk. This protocol is designed to protect yourself and your kids from contracting infection from others because, as I mentioned, Zika does not only spread through sex but also from other means. I do recommend using contraception until it is absolute that your partner is not a carrier of the virus. Additionally, demand your doctor to offer the necessary tests that correspond with topics in the book for you, your kids, and even future partners, as the complications are irreversible to those kids yet to be born.
2. What do you recommend as a first response to the possibility of being bitten by a mosquito?
Immediately seek your doctor. It is important to make sure the hospital has the lab equipment to detect Zika, but it is worrying that many aren’t equipped with lab capacity and technology to effectively detect the virus. Because it is not only found in blood, but in other fluids and internal organs, choose the tough but thorough process of eliminating all the places in the body Zika could have infected.
4 in 5 of us won’t be visibly symptomatic, which again must be stressed so that people do not dismiss a mosquito bite as harmless and, instead, ensure you get yourself tested.
3. Where do you stand on travel for spring break vacations?
Personally, I believe travel to areas of known risk should be avoided. For the simple reason that most won’t show symptoms of infection but will still be active carriers of the virus. Without making an estimate, every health professional knows the figure of infected persons to be a number so large that newspapers are unwilling to report. Each day more patients are linked to Zika, those that have suffered a miscarriage and those who have faced paralysis in the form of Guillain-Barre syndrome recently can now trace their agony to an infection.
4. If there was one thing the public needs to know about the zika virus, in your opinion, what is it?
As our news outlets continue to report on more recent findings, I’m glad to see the lid being slowly ripped off of what I am assuming was an initial attempt to prevent panic.
Over time, we will defeat the mosquito that bites and infects us with Zika. But, as we know, Zika can spread through sex. But, Zika can also spread through other means, I’m sure you can guess as to how.
How long can Zika remain in the body once infected? The range I found in my research is worrying. Where in the body does Zika remain? In our blood? Or are other internal organs susceptible? Our reproductive organs and fluids are most vulnerable to Zika, for both women and men. Once infected, are there complications to be expected in the future? Alarmingly, for some of us, yes. Again, our media has chosen to report and educate people with simple headlines as opposed to a full explanation. And people deserve a full explanation.
Our immune systems can be effective or ineffective, dependent on where a virus resides in our body. For some, Zika will be found only in our blood. Yet, when Zika settles and infects an organ where our immune system is ineffective, weeks become months and, in certain cases, years. My book shows you examples of specific cases where Zika was found not in blood, but in other fluids and, significantly, how long after infection Zika remained active. This is the most critical piece of knowledge with regards to Zika for one reason only, that in itself changes everything after it.
Prepare yourself now and order the book today on Amazon.
Bio for James Rutherford:
An Economics graduate now working as a Health/Biological Economist in a Bio-tech firm, where he specializes in research and analysis of data, finding relationships and conclusions with regard to health phenomenons and healthcare. He is happily engaged to the most important person in his life and is passionate in involving himself in his community. In downtime and for fun he make sure to find the time to binge-watch Netflix with my fiancé.