Zika and the Olympics

This post is a resurrection of my blog’s “Science” (Geek) category. It’s loosely related to running!

So, drinking my tea today and browsing some medical sites, I found myself perusing the news article headlines in the British Medical Journal. A headline-“Sixty seconds on…..Zika at the Olympics” caught my eye.

This topical subject is of interest to many and I thought I would share some facts from this interesting wee article.

  • Infectious disease specialists estimate that 3 to 37 of the 500 000 people travelling to Rio for the Olympic and Paralympic Games will take the Zika virus back to their home countries.
  • Zika is transmitted by mosquitos, by sex and from pregnant women to their foetus. Prevention means avoiding mosquito bites in the usual manner (covering yourself, bed nets, DEET etc), practicing safe sex and avoiding conception during the games and for 8 weeks after.
  • Advice is to take small bottles of insect repellant if you’re going to the games. Olympic venues will have airport-style security with limits on the volume of liquids allowed in.
  • The big one. Don’t go to Rio if you are pregnant or planning to conceive in the near future.
  • Recent research suggested that malaria transmitting mosquitos actively avoid chickens; some people say you might try having a chicken next to your bed to prevent mosquito bites! That was news to me. Here’s the link to that particular article.

Zika’s scary if you are pregnant but if that’s not you then be reassured: food poisoning is more likely to inflict you in Brazil than contracting Zika.

Have a great weekend!

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