Everything you need to know, to avoid and deter the risk of mosquito bites in Florida.
If you are headed to Orlando on vacation, chances are you will need to take some precautions against our airborne ‘friends’!
An odd bite here and there can be enough to drive you mad, with sleepless nights and itchy days making things worse as the warm air aggravates your bite wounds!
ZIKA VIRUS UPDATE
(Various external sources – subject to change, so please contact a medical expert!)
- Symptoms only show in around 1 in 5 infected people
- Symptoms include
- mild fever
- conjunctivitis (red, sore eyes)
- joint pain
- a rash
- Rest and drink plenty of fluids
- No vaccine or treatment is currently available
- The symptoms will naturally disappear after a few days
- Aedes mosquitoes bite an infected host and transfer it to another through a further bite. Wherever an infected person is around mosquitoes, there’s a risk of transmission to any other area that can also has mosquitoes. (Humans are transporting the disease, the mosquitos simply act as a bridge between the humans).
- The Zika virus was first discovered in Africa in 1947
- It has been proven that it may be possible to transmit the virus through intercourse
- For most patients, there’s little risk once infected
- For pregnant mothers, there is a risk of birth defects (microcephaly)
- The World Health Organization advises that only current pregnancies are at risk. Future pregnancies aren’t affected after the infection has passed.
- The US Centres for Disease Control says Zika lingers in the blood for about a week and can be spread by sexual intercourse.
- EDITOR OPINION: Currently, the mosquito identified as the greatest Zika Virus risk is the Aedes mosquito.
According to the BBC News researchers;
“unlike the mosquitoes that spread malaria, they are mostly active during the day”
In our totalorlando.com team’s many years of travel and living in Orlando, we can’t recall seeing a daytime mosquito!
Of course, do check the latest information and seek advice before traveling!
How long is Zika Contagious
- After infection occurs, the contagious period is estimated to range from between one week for blood born transfer (mosquitoes) and two weeks for transfer by semen.
- Reinfection is thought not be be likely once that original infection period has passed.
Avoiding the risk of Zika Virus
- Take additional caution in countries with warmer climates and know mosquito populations
- Use Deet repellants
- Stay indoors during evening times
- Avoid unprotected sex for 8 weeks when in our leaving an area of risk
- Consult your doctor if you suspect that you may have been exposed to Zika or displayed symptoms.
- Follow our avoiding mosquitoes tips and advice section below.
Reliable Sources as of Aug 2016
- BBC News – Zika What you need to know
- World Health Organization – Zika Virus Fact Sheet
- USA CDC – Centre For Disease Control – Zika Virus Update
- Disclaimer: This article is not definitive and may be subject to change.
Please seek advice from your own doctor or health advisory service and use the best resources available prior to traveling. We write our blogs in good faith, with information from good resources, so please check the links above for the very best and up to date information.
What are those pesky Mosquitos up to when they bite me?
How can Mosquitoes be avoided?
How can I repel Mosquitoes?
If my clothes cover me completely, will I be safe from Mosquitos?
Why do Mosquitoes bite me more than other people?
Florida Mosquito Facts
Mosquito season is pretty much year round due to the fact that mosquito eggs hatch at temperatures above 50F (temperatures are often above that in Florida, even in the cooler months. If it’s warm, mosquitoes will be there, and Orlando is famed for its warm climate.
Having said that, June through October does suffer from the warmest, dampest conditions, making it perfect for mosquito larvae to hatch.
Repellant Safety Facts
- DEET can damage paint & plastic surfaces (watch that nail polish girls!)
- Always try to use 25% DEET products or less on children
- Never apply any repellants to Infants (read product labels carefully)
- Never light Citronella Candles Indoors
- CDC DEET Advisory Sheet July 2016 (PDF DOWNLOAD)
Mosquito myths explained
- There’s no evidence that Garlic or any other food substance is an effective countermeasure against Mosquitos
- Mosquitoes get blamed for the deeds of other insect bites such as ‘no-seeums’
- People with Blood Type ‘O’ are more susceptible (but not proven?)
- Hydrocortisone creams can be obtained over the counter at pharmacies
- If other symptoms develop or the wound becomes infected, seek medical help immediately.
- But most importantly of all; resist all temptation to rub and itch any bite wounds!
- Keep bite areas cool. Warm skin seems to agitate and inflame the reactions, so ice packs can alleviate the irritation.
- Always seek medical advice if a wound becomes infected, or other symptoms develop!
Risks from Mosquitoes
Although the realistic chances of becoming seriously affected by Orlando mosquito bites is very low, avoidance is without doubt the best method of defense.
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