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New Port Richey, FL 34655
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Posts for category: Zika

By Thuy Pham MD
October 17, 2016
Category: Zika

Best Insect Repellents to Protect Against Zika Virus 

 

Zika infection is transmitted by the Aedes mosquito. Prevention plays a crucial role in deterring its spread as there is currently no available treatment. The Center of Disease Control recommends limiting travel to high risk areas, using protective clothing, mosquito control outside and inside the home and applying topical insect repellent. However  choosing the right bug spray can be a challenging and confusing process due to the vast number of products available over the counter.

 

Insect repellents sold in the US are required to be registered with the Environmental Protection Agency. This process requires data documenting the efficacy and safety of the repellent both to humans and to the environment.  Although numerous active ingredients are available on the market, The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend DEET(N<N-diethyl-meta-toluamide), picaridin IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-methane-diol. Published literature revealed that DEET at 20% concentration or greater was the most effective insect repellent.

 

According to the EPA, DEET has low toxicity; it can be safely used in children, pregnant women and adults without any age restriction.  The concentration of DEET in an insect repellent is important, since a higher concentration correlates with longer duration of protection.

 

Recently Consumer Reports evaluated and compared several insect repellents against Aedes mosquitoes.  Below is a summary of the most recommended effective products.

 

Products                         Active Ingredients                            Features

 

Off Deep Woods VIII             DEET 25%                              8-hour duration

 

Bens 30% DEET Tick             DEET 30%                              7.5-hour duration

and Insect Wilderness

Formula                                                  

 

Sawyer Family Insect              DEET 20%                              11-hour duration

Repellent                                                                                 Timed-release product

 

Natrapel                                   Picaridin 20%                          8-hour duration

 

Repel Lemon                           Oil of Lemon                           7-hour duration

Eucalyptus                               Eucalyptus 30%

 

 

I hope you find this information helpful. 


Thuy Pham, MD, FAAP

By Christopher Pope ARNP
July 06, 2016
Category: Zika
Tags: Zika Virus  

                                     

As of this writing there have been 263 confirmed cases of Zika virus in Florida since January. As the number of Zika cases raises so too do fears that the virus will start causing the severe birth defects that are occurring in infants throughout the Caribbean and South America.  What are the real risks for our children here in Florida?

First, the good news.  The Zika virus poses little threat to children and infants.  Only one in five infected individuals will exhibit symptoms and those that have symptoms will usually only have mild viral symptoms such fevers, aches, pains and a rash.  Secondly, all of the cases in the United States thus far have been contracted in other countries or through sexual activity with infected individuals who had recently travelled to at-risk countries.    The primary mode of transmission in countries most affected by Zika is through mosquito bites.  Thankfully no mosquitoes have been identified in the U.S. as carrying the virus.

So why is there so much fear about this virus? When pregnant women contract the virus, their unborn baby is at risk for severe birth defects that cause a small head (microcephally) which results in serious brain disorders and developmental delays.  The larger the population of infected people in our area, the more likely the virus will take hold in the mosquito population. If the virus becomes mosquito-born, then we will see a significant increase in Zika cases and likely an increase in children born with severe birth defects will follow.

What can we do to reduce our risk from the Zika virus?  The biggest risk for contracting the virus currently is by traveling to countries whose mosquitoes carry the virus.  If you are a woman who is pregnant or at risk of becoming pregnant or a man who potentially could cause his partner to become pregnant, then it would be wise to avoid traveling to countries in the Caribbean or Central and South America where the virus is wide-spread.  To find out which countries are high risk consult the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html. In addition to being selective about your travel destinations it would be wise to take measures to protect yourself from mosquitoes at home.  Mosquitoes love to breed in pools of stagnant water, so make sure you don’t leave empty buckets, flower pots etc. outside to fill up with rain water.  We might also want to do a little investigating about who is running for mosquito control in our county in the next election and elect the most qualified individual.  Finally we should all protect ourselves and children from mosquito bites through simple measures such as wearing light-weight long-sleeved clothing, mosquito netting over strollers, etc. when in mosquito infested areas, using insect repellent, and avoiding being out at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are their most active.

CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION ABOUT CHOOSING AN INSECT REPELLENT FOR YOUR CHILD

The Zika virus has only been recognized for a very short time, which means there is much we do not know about it.  We will watch closely for any news about Zika that may be relevant to our patient families’ health and pass it along to you.

Christopher Pope, MSN, CPNP



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