In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for the Zika virus, the only weapon that the human race has is to curb the menace of mosquitoes. However, there is no need to panic. Scientists across the world are working on vaccines to challenge the virus and kill it. So, let’s get down to what you as a parent or a would-be mother needs to do. The same applies to all of us.
Fundamentally, we need to get down to the basics of hygiene – all habits that our grandparents would insist on performing themselves, like closing all doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering the house, sleeping under the mosquito net and applying insect repellent regularly. Wearing light coloured clothes and keeping most parts of your body covered to prevent the mosquitoes from biting you might help.
Keep the surroundings where you live and work clean. Ensure that water does not collect in utensils or buckets and drums in the house where mosquitoes can breed. Flower pots and used tyres are another habitat for mosquitoes. Please keep them clean if you cannot remove them. The idea is to ensure that all the places which are considered breeding grounds for mosquitoes are kept clean to effectively control the mosquito menace.
The virus is largely found in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific. So, will the mosquito travel from there and come to India and bite? The answer is a flat ‘no’. A mosquito does not travel more than 400 metres. But, it can bite someone who is travelling to any of the virus-affected countries. A carrier mosquito can bite you. So, those who are pregnant or even those who are not, need to be cautious about where they travel.
It boils down to the simple point of keeping your surroundings mosquito-free. The health of your baby is your responsibility.