7 Tips to Deter The Risk of Zika Virus for Pregnant Mothers
The Zika virus is making headlines in Singapore with numbers rapidly rising in the recent days. The virus is known to be transmitted via the Aedes mosquito, which has identifiable black and white stripes on its body and legs.
Expectant mothers are particularly vulnerable to the effects of the Zika virus infection, with a high possibility of the unborn foetus being diagnosed with microcephaly, which is a lifelong neurological disorder associated with developmental delays in infancy and childhood.
Unfortunately, there are no known cures for this disease. Thus, we have rounded up some tips to help you and your family keep the virus at bay.
To prevent mosquitoes from entering your home, you can install window screens, or even attach mosquito nets around your beds.
Check for potential breeding sites in and around the house. Make sure you empty and clean any possible vessel or containers that may collect stagnant water, such as buckets, pots and gutters. Here's a checklist of things to do, as suggested by NEA.
1. Change water in vases and bowls on alternate days
2. Remove water from flower pot plates on alternate days
3. Turn over all water storage containers
4. Cover bamboo pole holders when not in use
5. Clear blockages and put BTI insecticide in roof gutters monthly
2. Grow some greens
Herbs and plants such as peppermint, rosemary, marigold and catnip can help repel mosquitoes. For this to be effective, you would have to crush the leaves and rub them on your skin or clothes.
3. Cover up
Wearing longer sleeves will definitely reduce the surface area of skin exposed and reduce the likely hood of getting bitten.
4. Keep cool
Research has shown that mosquitoes are more attracted to people who emit more sweat and body heat. Do invest in a small portable fan to keep yourself cool. The moving air generated may also help in blasting away the dreaded mosquitoes. Check out the link below for some cool mini portable fan options.
5. Protect with repellant
Repellents with the active ingredient DEET is safe for use for expectant, as well as breastfeeding mothers. Make sure you do not spray directly onto the face or cut skin. It is good to take note that the Aedes mosquito is active throughout the day with dawn and dusk being prime biting times.
Also, do note that children below the age of two are advised to keep away from using DEET repellent.
Mosquito repellent can also be sprayed around the house, particularly in dark corners such as under the beds, sofas and even behind curtains.
For parents who prefer to go chemical-free, you can check out the link below for DEET-free alternatives:
6. Stay incognito
Avoid using fruity or floral scents that may attract mosquitoes.
7. Avoid non-essential travel
MOH has compiled a list of countries facing the Zika Virus outbreak or with cases of ongoing local transmission. You can check out the link below for the updated list.
If you have vacation plans scheduled around this time, do ensure that your home does not turn into a breeding ground for mosquitoes while you are away. NEA has prepared an extensive list of guidelines and measures that you should take prior to your vacation. Link is provided below
We hope you benefited from some of these tips. Stay safe and healthy, mummies!