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Prepare yourself for Zika

zikaWith March Break just around the corner, you and your family might be thinking of heading somewhere warm to relax. If that’s the case, the Public Health Agency of Canada is reminding you to protect yourself from mosquito bites that spread diseases such as the Zika Virus.

“Pregnant women and those considering becoming pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their health care provider to assess their risk and consider postponing travel to areas where the Zika virus is circulating,” states Dr. Gregory Taylor, Canada’s chief public health officer, in a news release.

“No vaccine or medication is currently available to prevent or treat the infection. The best way to reduce the risk of Zika virus, and other mosquito-borne illnesses such as chikungunya and dengue, is to protect yourself from mosquito bites.”

To protect yourself against mosquito bites, be sure to use insect repellent, cover up and wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and long pants, use a bed net, stay in rooms with air conditioning and keep windows and door screens in good repair.

Symptoms of Zika virus include a low-grade fever, rash, joint and muscle pain, a lack of energy, weakness, headaches and red eyes. Symptoms can take up to 12 days to appear, but are typically mild and last for two to seven days.