Zika Virus Prevention

Zika virus is spreading in Singapore and Malaysia. It is essential to take precautions. Here are some essential things to know, so that we can prevent our family, our children and ourselves from being the target of the aedes mosquitoes carrying Zika virus and Dengue virus.

 

Mosquito repellent (spray, patch, bracelet etc):

  • DEET: The most common active ingredient and most effective is DEET. Mosquito repellents in Singapore and Malaysia contain DEET in concentrations of about 7%. Increasing the concentration doesn’t make the repellent more effective. It just means that you will be protected longer. A concentration of 6% protects you for about 2 hours. A concentration of 20% will protect you for about 4%. The duration of protection varies with factors like temperature, sweat and exposure to water. Remember to reapply at regular interval. Children should use repellent with lower DEET concentrations. DEET may cause rashes in some people. Click here for a product recommendation.

    

  • PICARIDIN: Picaridin is a popular alternative to DEET. According to the World Health Organization, Picaridin is comparable to DEET, but without the irritation associated with DEET. Scientists think Picaridin blocks mosquitoes from sensing their prey.

 

  • IR3535: IR3535 (Ethyl Butylacetylaminopropionate) is another alternative to DEET. IR3535 may irritate the eyes but is otherwise not harmful when ingested, inhaled or used on skin. Click here for a product recommendation. 

 

  • LEMON EUCALYPTUS: Of all natural repellents, lemon eucalyptus has shown to be the most effective. Click here for a product recommendation. Click here for a product recommendation.

 

  • CITRONELLA: Citronella is another natural oil which is also used commonly. Click here for a product recommendation. Click here for a product recommendation.

 

Other oils include cedar, geranium, peppermint and soybean have been evaluated by US authorities for safety but not effectiveness. Essential oils can irritate the skin as well. Click here for a product recommendation.

 

Mosquito coils:

Mosquito coils have proven to be effective but they could be a potential fire hazard. 

Click here for a product recommendation.

 

Devices & Apps:

Devices and apps that repel mosquitoes with high-frequency sounds may be less effective. 

Click here for a product recommendation.

 

Ultraviolet Light Devices

Devices that lure insects using ultraviolet light may be less effective. Aedes mosquitoes aren’t usually active at night. 

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Carbon Dioxide Devices

Devices that trap mosquito using carbon dioxide as bait could work better during the day compared to ultra violet devices, as mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide.  

Click here for a product recommendation.

 

Mosquito Nets

Mosquito nets are very effective in prevention of mosquito bites albeit being confined only within the space. 

Click here for a product recommendation. 

 

Long and loose-fitting clothes and trousers

Wearing long-sleeved and long pants to cover the skin can be quite effective by covering the skin.  Loose-fitting is not only comfortable for hit and humid weather in Singapore and Malaysia but also mosquitoes can sometimes bite through skin-tight, thin fabric.

 

Prevention of breeding

Remember to check all potential water catchment around your house, including flower pots etc to make sure that mosquitoes are not breeding.

 

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Transmission of Zika virus:

Mosquito bites, Mother to Child, Blood Transfusion, Sexual Contact 

 

Symptom of Zika Virus:

Fever, Rashes, Joint Pain, Conjunctivitis (inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eye), Muscle Pain, Headache

 

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Note that: Effectiveness of the various medium is provided by Channel News Asia.

 

 

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