I am an affiliate partner in MOBE and our Platinum Mastermind is about to take place on the beautiful tropical paradise of Fiji Islands in the Pacific. It comes at a time when we are hearing a lot about the Zeke (mosquito) virus and as an islander I wanted to share some information on prevention and to hopefully erase some of the fears/concerns some of us might be having at this time prior to travel.
To most of us, the Zeke virus is new but prior to 2015, the CDC reported that the Zeke virus also occurred in Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands so this is not new. Don’t be alarmed just be cautious.
No – one likes getting bit by mosquitoes, so it’s best to read this article and do some additional research for yourself especially if you are pregnant/considering getting pregnant or travelling with a young child.
While writing this article - its not lost on me - the coincidence that a cyclone just went through the Fijian islands this past weekend leaving even more exposure and breeding grounds for mosquitoes. No-one wants to go on vacation to paradise and stay indoors. However, it’s best not to allow our fears to take over. You will need to be prepared in advance of your trip. So here are some tips, for handling the situation while you are there or in fact, in any destination the CDC are reporting that the Zeke virus is present.
1. Apply a good mosquito repellent. "To Deet or not to Deet"? That is the question. My preference is use something organic and harmless to the skin. Most articles will tout the use of up to 30% Deet but Deet like most insect repellents out there are loaded with toxic chemicals. These chemicals are harmful to the skin and must be washed off [your skin] when you return indoors. These chemicals are also harmful to the natural habitat in the oceans such as coral reefs. These repellents and some sunscreens contain a harmful substance that depletes the coral reefs. So please look for safe alternatives. If you are going to use Deet take care not to spray it in confined or enclosed areas. Do not breathe in the spray. You can find many safe alternatives at your local pharmacy or at amazon.com or wholefoods.com.You can try neem-based Outdoor Botanical Gel. It's made from an organic blend of neem leaf extract, aloe vera base (to soothe bites you already have), neem oil, citronella oil and geraniol. These are good for your skin--and, unlike DEET, its safe for the whole family--even infants and children. Its available here. (Please note that if you are using these natural ingredients you will probably need to keep re-applying it throughout the day or if you go swimming you must re-apply afterwards just like you do your sunscreen.
2. This one is weird but true. I have used Avon Skin so Soft (www.avon.com) original bath oil spray successfully for years. I have no idea why that works. Try it and let me know. It might just be me!
3. Wear long sleeve light colored shirts and pants when outdoors.
4. Sleep under a mosquito net. This is especially important for babies and younger children. I found some really cool nets at the camping store that I could easily pack in my bags and did not need a lot of work to set up.
5. Keep the air conditioner on in your hotel room. Mosquitoes hate the cold. Instead tuck yourself up warm and snugly at night then lower the temperature. Don’t turn off the air in your room during the day in case it gets too humid. Mosquitoes can enter your room at any time and stay hidden until its feeding time, ouch!
6. When you are out and about stay away from areas that has collected pools of water they can potentially hold breeding mosquitoes. So if you are going zip lining in the mountainous areas expect to see more mosquitoes up there.
7. Stay away from sweet body lotions, perfumes. Why, they can smell you from miles away. Trust me on that one.
8. Pack a battery operated mosquito swatter. How does it work? It works like an electrical shock. When you hear or see a mosquito, you wave the swatter in the air and press a button and it zaps the mosquito - dead. It’s harmless to humans and infants. Costs less than $15. But remember under FDA rules please remember to take the batteries out when you pack it in your luggage.
9. Use Calamine lotion. If you get bitten, don’t go crazy itching the area. Add lots of Calamine lotion to the affected area and wait for it to take effect. This requires great patience to follow through on the “no scratch’ zone.
10. Finally, there is nothing you can do if you have “sweet blood”. What exactly does that mean, well in the islands you will find that mosquitoes bite some folks and never bite others? We say “you have sweet blood’. Is there any scientific evidence for this? No, just custom and practice. Mosquitoes like some people and can launch an attack on them and completely ignore others. So my tip is until you know which category you fall into, cover up well. Drink lots of water and eat healthily.
Above all, be safe and have fun.