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Dr. Edwards' Blog

The Zika Virus Is Spreading, But You Can Stop It Naturally-- April 15, 2016

New statistics from the Centers for Disease Control show that three people in Missouri and ten in Illinois reported contracting the Zika virus disease while traveling overseas.  The virus is transmitted by an infected Aedes species mosquito.

So far, 538 people in the United States are suffering from the Zika virus.  The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected.  However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects.  Of the 538 infected Americans, thirty-one of them are pregnant. 

This map also shows the U.S. properties where the Zika virus has been contracted where no travel was involved.

Here's a quick bit of history:  Its name comes from the Zika Forest of Uganda, where the virus was first isolated in 1947.  During the 1950s, it was known to occur in Africa and Asia.  But it wasn't until 2013 that the Zika virus spread eastward across the Pacific Ocean.  In 2015, it reached epidemic proportions in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and South America.  And Rio is where people from all around the world will be this August for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.  

Exposure to infected mosquitoes has many people worried -- not only about Zika, but there's also the West Nile Virus, malaria, encephalitis, dengue fever, yellow fever and more.  So you don't have to be traveling overseas to be exposed, you can simply be sitting outside on a warm summer night. 

But I know many of you reading this are opposed to the insect repellents that contain DEET.  So for a more effective and natural solution, Dr. Rose Fischer of Natural Healing Centers in Union recommends and sells a product called "Buzz Away."

It comes in a spray, towelettes and a citronella candle.  "I endorse this product as a safe, natural mosquito repellent.  It's much more effective than any other products that contain DEET," Dr. Fischer said.  But she advised that anyone who is pregnant should get the advice of their OBGYN before using any type of mosquito repellent.  But just as importantly, for everyone, Dr. Fischer says to eat a "colorful plate" that is well-balanced diet and to stay away from all the processed foods and drive-thru restaurants.  And don't forget your vitamin D.  She says that should help shut down a virus before it can set up shop in your body.

 

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