There have been numerous cases of Zika transmitted in the state of Florida during the past month, and according to a new report published by Scientific American, U.S. health officials now fear that it will likely spread across the Gulf to Texas and Louisiana.
Louisiana is seen as a particularly likely target due to the record flooding that has struck the state this month. In addition to 13 deaths, the flooding has also destroyed close to 100,000 homes and likely caused upwards of $30 million in damage. With millions of gallons of standing water stalling any preventative efforts such as spraying, local officials are springing into action to avoid what could be the worst public health crisis in decades.
The nationwide Zika watch has done wonders for the bug spray industry, with nearly 50% of Americans purchasing some sort of repellent, according to a survey performed by RetailMeNot, but there doesn't seem to be much of a consensus when it comes to the best repellents on the market.
Furthermore, the ramp up in production of these sprays, creams, gels and bands, has potential customers questioning what methods are best at preventing bites from the mosquitoes that carry Zika.
As you'd expect, we recommend several all-natural solutions for mosquito prevention, including the following:
Lemon Eucalyptus Oil: a mixture of 32 percent lemon eucalyptus oil provides 95% protection against mosquito bites over the course of three hours, according to the CDC. It is, however, not recommended in use by children under the age of 3.
Lavender: the scent given off by lavender is a natural mosquito repellent. It is recommended to keep the plant indoors to prevent mosquitoes from entering the home, although the flowers can also be crushed and applied to areas of the body the wearer wants to protect from bites.
Garlic: garlic contains sulfur, which also acts as a natural repellent
Herbal Mosquito Repellent: a combination of witch hazel, citronella, eucalyptus and lemongrass oils, this repellent is a go-to in the swamps of Louisiana
Amrita Aromatherapy Bugs BeGone: an all-natural blend containing aloe vera, eucalyptus, lemongrass, peppermint and rosemary oils, this repellent is safe for babies, children and environmentally friendly. It can be purchased at Well Within, and is also available in a kids version and pets variant.
Furthermore, several steps should be taken to boost your immune system, in the off-chance that you are bitten by a mosquito:
- Vitamin C: helps your body fight off foreign bodies such as viruses and bacteria
- Zinc: your immune system can be weakened by adrenal fatigue, which can be combated by eating foods that are rich in zinc
- Echinacea and Garlic: both boost your immune system and help fight adrenal fatigue
For more information about Zika, check out the following: