Avoid Getting Zika While Traveling This Summer

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Having spent a great deal of time living and working in the Caribbean, where it’s always mosquito season, I’ve had more than my share of bites. While generally just a nuisance, mosquitoes are actually the most deadly creature on earth. Mosquito-borne diseases affect more than 700 million people annually. And chikungunya, dengue, yellow fever, and malaria claim the lives of more than 1 million people according to the World Health Organization. West Nile and Zika are less deadly but still dangerous.

mosquitoes swimming can carry zika

I’ve had Zika. It was far less debilitating that I expected, although it can be devastating to pregnant women and unborn children. And no matter your current health, it’s always best to stay clear of getting bites in the first place.

The best way to not get Zika or other mosquito-bourne illnesses is to not get bitten.  And the best way to not get bitten is to repel mosquitos!

Our Favorite Zika Avoidance Products from Amazon

  • Insect repellent is a must.  DEET is the best but if you cannot use it, there are other products. The CDC has great information for travelers. This DEET repellent comes in a 3.4 ounce, TSA-friendly travel size multi-pack.

  • Wipes are great for easy reapplication.  Jennifer swears by her personal favorite mosquito repellent (and the one she always travels with) Avon Skin So Soft.  Per her: “Not only does it repel mosquitoes, but it also moisturizes skin and doesn’t smell disgusting!!!”

  • Cover exposed skin.  ExOfficio makes great clothing which can help keep away the bugs.  They make an entire collection of mosquito repellent clothing called “BugsAway” for men and women.  The khaki men’s pant’s below are their best seller but they also have other options.  Jennifer has two black ExOfficio travel dresses that she loves.

  • Wearable items work for outdoor activity.  These bracelets will repel bugs up to 300 hours.  They are good for children, heavy physical activity, or water sports when you don’t to worry about reapplication.

  • Avoid bugs where you are.  Simply avoid areas where there may be lots of mosquitoes.  This seems like simple advice but it’s not always easy. At home, it is easy to keep them away with distributed repellent that can kill larvae.  Amazon will set up this up on Subscribe & Save so that you stay mosquito-free all summer.

  • Keep mosquitos at bay at peak times.  Sometimes the mosquitoes like to linger at dusk when we too enjoy slowing down.  Travel-sized citronella candles are good for extra protection for evenings at the beach or enjoying the sunset on a patio.


About Jim Ogden

Jim is an information technology strategy consultant who has traveled extensively for client projects. Despite having logged many miles for business, it is the personal travel he most values. When traveling for pleasure, Jim prefers to seek out the authentic soul of the places he visits. His favorite travel memories are not of the tourist-friendly areas but rather the places off the beaten-path. As an expat and foodie, Jim brings a perspective of writing based on maximizing the experience of traveling.

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