Zika virus – how real is the threat and what precautions need to be taken

In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infection in Brazil. In February of this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Zika virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) syndrome in the affected areas and on the 9th July the first Zika-related death was confirmed.

Very little is known about Zika’s rise. Although it was first seen in 1947, before 2007 human infections were extremely rare, with a few African and Asian examples. The huge rise of Zika activity in the Americas right now is unprecedented and is a cause for concern.

The outbreak currently in full flow in the America’s possibly due to the fact people of the region had no immunity to the virus; it’s a so-called virgin soil outbreak.

Approximately one in five cases of the Zika virus does it transmit into the Zika fever. Symptoms include but are not limited to; fever, rashes, joint pain, conjunctivitis (red eyes), muscle pain, headache, vomiting and notably microcephaly.

Pregnant women:

There are particular concerns with regard to the threat of the virus to pregnant women. Initial reports of a link between Zika and microcephaly have now been confirmed. CDC scientists announced that there is now enough evidence to conclude that Zika virus infection during pregnancy is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects in newborn babies. Microcephaly, a congenital condition marked by abnormally small heads and stunted brain development in babies. As of Wednesday, there have been 599 cases of Zika among pregnant women in the United States and seven infants have been born with Zika-related birth defects. Furthermore, there have also been links to problems in infants, such as hearing loss, eye defects, and impaired growth.


However, this doesn’t mean we can visit these tropical, diverse and intriguing places affected. It merely means we should take precautions to ensure our safety and prevent ourselves developing the aforementioned symptoms. Zika virus spreads to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito and so this needs to be prevented where possible.

The two known species responsible for Zika transmission are the Aedes albopictus and the Aedes aegypti species. Unlike malaria-carrying mosquitos, these species are mostly active during the day and so barrier methods such as mosquito nets are ineffective. These mosquitos can survive in both indoor and outdoor environments. Therefore, a net at nights is not the answer. An insect repellent is needed to protect one’s self against the Zika virus.

Those who want to ensure zika virus prevention, but also hate the plastic, sticky effect of spray on and lotion insect repellents, or perhaps want to use a more natural based repellent we have the solution for you! Repelsect is a new insect repellent patch, which you place on your clothes. It lasts for up to 24hours and emits a ‘bubble' around the user of up to 3 meters to keep insects at bay. In this way, protection against the Zika virus can be found. 

Furthermore, the use of patch rather than spray prevents a mixture of sunscreen and mosquito spray impacting upon each other's effectiveness. For example, Andrew Montearano found in his study that this mixture could significantly reduce the sun creams efficacy, why divert the threat of the Zika virus to merely expose yourself to burning and skin cancer. 

Furthermore, there is evidence how over and under application of sunscreen and insect repellent infrequent among travelers as the products need to be applied at varying time intervals which result in the efficacy of these products being reduced. Why not use a patch to avert this problem from occurring. Why not remove human error from the equation all together, let the patch do the work. 


PMD is a natural active, when used in repelsect it effectively acts as a insect repellent. Traditionally synthetic insect repellents have been much more effective than their natural counterparts. However, PMD and repelsect dispute this view, arguing that PMD can be as effective if not more so than synthetic insect repellents such as DEET. In fact, the USA center for disease control states it is as effective as DEET. Furthermore, PMD meets the ecological and organic cosmetic standards outlined by ECOCERT and the.

The graph depicts field trials which took place in Bolivia, showing the number of mosquito landings (effectively bites) over a two hour period. As you can see the PMD outperformed other repellents including DEET demonstrating its effectiveness.

So, yes the threat of the Zika virus is real. But, it doesn't mean you cannot visit the places that have been affected, precautions merely need to be taken. If you have plans to go the Olympics this summer or any other reason to travel to these exotic and exciting places just make sure an insect repellent is used and Repelsect offers a naturalplasticing and highly effective alternative!