Mosquito

Punta Cana is a stunning tropical island located in the Dominican Republic. Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Punta Cana is home to magnificent beaches, resorts, hotels, and entertainment. However, amidst this beautiful country live mosquitos and the Zika virus which made its debut in 2016.

What is the Zika Virus?

Zika is a viral disease transmitted when a mosquito bites a person or animal. It can also be transferred sexually by an infected person. Moreover, many people don’t show signs of infection. Those folks that do, experience fever, headache, joint and muscle pain, conjunctivitis and skin rash.

The virus causes deformity and birth defects in pregnant women.

Do not travel if pregnant

Couple on a plane

Rather than take a chance, if you are pregnant it would be wise not to travel to the Caribbean. Although you may take all the precautions to avoid infection, there is no guarantee you won’t be bitten by a mosquito and as a result become infected.

Currently, the exposure to and transmission of the Zika virus in Punta Cana is considered to be moderate. Therefore, if you decide to travel to the Dominican Republic, you should take the following precautions advisable by the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC):

Prevent Being Bitten

Insect Repellent

The CDC suggests you use EPA-registered insect repellents such as Deet, Picaridin, IR3535, or lemon eucalyptus oil. If you use DEET, make sure it contains a concentration of 40 percent or higher. Also, make sure you spray the repellent on your skin, your clothes, mosquito netting and use the repellent as directed.

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Covered Clothing

Girl standing on the sand

When not swimming, wear long sleeves and long pants to stay covered.

Mosquito Nets

If you are staying in a house that has no air conditioning and must open the window for fresh air, make sure to use a mosquito net to cover your bed. You should also make sure your windows have a screen to avoid mosquitos get in.

Close all windows and doors

If you don’t have access to mosquito nets, screen doors or window screens then keep all the windows and doors closed.

Use Protection During Sex

Since the Zika virus is transmitted sexually, it is also considered a sexually transmitted disease (STD). When you are on vacation and/or traveling, romance is always in the air. That’s why you should always be prepared and carry protection. Make sure you use a condom or dental dams.

Avoid contaminated areas

Ask the locals, hotel concierge, and or authorities which areas are considered contaminated and/or have been closed off to the public. The tropical weather means mosquitos are present all year long. Check the CDC, Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic website for an update on the Zika exposure.

Avoid humid areas

Woods

Mosquitos live in humid and wet areas. If you plan to visit Punta Cana’s parks and natural attractions, be aware that these areas are humid and most habitable to mosquitos.

If you decide to travel to Punta Cana, be aware that Zika has made Punta Cana one of its homes. Maintain informed and be prepared if you go. Be aware that folks with a weak immune system are more prone to infection and a compromised immune system. Most importantly, if you are pregnant, take heed and don’t go.

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Nothing is worth compromising the health and birth of an unborn child. While traveling to the Caribbean is fun, Zika has also made it somewhat dangerous.

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