With Costa Rica being one of the most recent countries added to the list of over 30 countries and territories U.S. authorities have advised travelers to be cautious about while visiting due to the Zika virus we thought it would be wise to offer some tips & tricks to stay safe during your stay.
Zika virus is a mosquito-borne virus, similar and closely related to dengue, yellow fever and chikungunya that have been rapidly spreading through Latin and Central America. Although not deadly, the Zika virus should not be taking lightly, especially if you are, or plan to be, pregnant.
Unfortunately there is no vaccine for the Zika virus as of now, in addition to mild to no symptoms. Close to 80% of patients experienced no symptoms whatsoever, while the remaining 20% experienced joint pain, rash, fever, red eyes and/or conjunctivitis.
Here are some simple tips & tricks that can help keep you safe from Zika virus while in Costa Rica:
- Insect Repellent
Using an insect repellent, even over your sunscreen, or a mosquito repellent band, can be a helpful way to avoid getting bitten. The best is to apply a generous coat before venturing outside and to reapply throughout the day and evening. Alternatively wearing a mosquito repellent band can provide some coverage to the areas closest, however they will not ensure protection to the entire body, which is why it is recommended to use a spray as well.
Another way to protect yourself, and loved ones, from the Zika virus is clothing coverage. Understandably it is hot in Costa Rica and wearing long sleeves etc may not be ideal for everyone, however when possible it is best to wear long sleeves, pants, shoes and/or hats. This will limit the exposure your body has to the insect and thus decreasing your odds of contracting the virus. Additionally it is best to sleep indoors with closed, screened windows, mosquito nets and/or air conditioning.
- Natural Repellents
Using some natural repellents are also a great way to keep insects a bay. Most vacation rentals and hotels have various plants that help limit the number of mosquitos, however you can also use essential oils to prevent bites. Another trick is consuming garlic-heavy dishes. Lastly slice a lemon in half, stick cloves in each half and place on a table to keep insects away. These are all great, natural ways to keep insects, especially mosquitos, away.
These are just a few ways to stay safe from Zika virus while traveling, however the best way is stay informed on the virus and areas you are visiting. If you experience any of the symptoms, consult a local doctor as soon as possible.
If you are in Mal Pais, Santa Teresa or Playa Hermosa area contact the following local office for assistance or medical attention:
Playa Carmen Crossroads, Frank’s Place Local #5
Office: +(506) 2640-1062
Emergencies: +(506) 2220-0911