Zika Virus: Understanding the Risks in 2016

Zika Virus: Understanding the Risks in 2016

Areas Affected & Impact

The Zika virus has been spreading “explosively” throughout South America, Latin America, and the Caribbean, and has recently been diagnosed in several southern states of the US. Per the World Health Organization, this virus has been linked to thousands of birth defects in Latin America and the estimate is that 3 to 4 million people will be infected in the Americas over the next year with about 1 in 5 exposed to the virus becoming ill.

The primary risk for travelers is related to pregnant women. There is a higher risk of poor pregnancy outcomes for patients you have contracted this illness during their pregnancy. Therefore, it is recommend that any women attendee or staff member who is pregnant, should avoid countries with active disease as noted by the CDC. Furthermore, birth control should be used by any couple visiting one of these areas. There is no vaccine for this virus.

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How You Can Prepare For Zika Virus

Wear insect repellent

Yes! It is safe. When used as directed, insect repellent is the BEST way to protect yourself from mosquito bites—even children and pregnant women should protect themselves. Higher percentages of active ingredient provide longer lasting protection.
deet to prevent mosquito bites

  • DEET: Products containing DEET include Cutter, OFF!, Skintastic.
  • Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin): Products containing picaridin include
  • Cutter Advanced, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus, and Autan outside the United States).
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or PMD: Repel contains OLE.
  • IR3535: Products containing IR3535 include Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Expedition and SkinSmart.

Treat Clothing & Gear

prepare against zika virus with permethrin spray
  • Cover up – when weather permits, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants.
  • Treat items such as boots, pants, socks, and tents with permethrin or purchase permethrin-treated clothing and gear.
  • Permethrin – treated clothing will protect you after multiple washings. See product information to find out how long the protection will last.
  • If treating items yourself, follow the product instructions.
  • Do not use permethrin products directly on skin.

Mosquito-Proof Your Home Or Hotel

prevent zika virus with mosquito net
  • ŠUse screens on windows and doors.
  • Repair holes in screens to keep mosquitoes outside. Š
  • Use air conditioning when available. Š
  • Keep mosquitoes from laying eggs in and near standing water.
  • Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out items that hold water, such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpots, or trash containers. Check inside and outside your home.
  • Buy a bed net at your local outdoor store or online before traveling overseas. Choose a WHOPES-approved bed net (like Pramex*): compact, white, rectangular, with 156 holes per square inch, and long enough to tuck under the mattress.


Consult With The Experts

consult with inhouse physicians to see how you can prepare against Zika Virus for your international travelers InHouse Physicians has specialized in international medical risk management for offsite corporate programs for over 25 years. We provide a 24 hour medical safety net by delivering on site medical support services for your meeting or event anywhere in the world. All of our physicians are board certified in emergency medicine and bring with them all the capabilities of a mini emergency room including medications and treatment supplies necessary to take care of anything from a flu like illness to a heart attack.

By utilizing InHouse Physicians services, you will be proactively providing your client with:

  1. Peace of Mind – for your attendees by having U.S. based medical support on site.
  2. Risk Management – by taking the necessary steps to minimize any negative outcomes associated with Zika or other serious medical conditions

InHouse Physicians has the ability to quickly deliver quality medical support for Zika infected staff and attendees. Furthermore, the on site IHP physician has direct access our invaluable international network of specialists are available to assist with any serious complications.

We encourage you to to speak with us as to how we can support your key meetings this year and avoid program cancellations.

Contact Darrin Michael at 215-997-9483 or dmichael@ihphysicians.com to learn more.

Author Info

Jonathan Spero

Dr. Spero is the CEO of InHouse Physicians and a thought leader in the area of cost containment solutions for self-insured employers. Dr. Spero graduated medical school from the University of California, Davis. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine from Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego and has practiced both internal and emergency medicine. Dr. Spero is an expert speaker on employee health care cost containment strategies, energy and performance, as well as medical risk management for corporate meetings and events. Dr. Spero resides in Chicago, Illinois.

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