Correct use of mosquito repellents: preventive measure against Zika
The latest data updated by the Ministry of Health numbers 181 confirmed cases of infection Zika virus, 180 of which were people who had traveled to affected countries. During the summer, there is an increase in the number of travelers to these endemic areas, so we must insist on wearing clothes that cover almost the entire body or put mosquito nets at night.
The use of mosquito repellents is one of the main preventive measures against the bite of the mosquito that transmits the Zika virus. However, they can lose their effectiveness if they are not applied correctly. Applying correctly this mosquito repellent is essential to be sure.
It should be remembered that mosquito repellents must be authorized or registered by the competent authority; in Spain by the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality, either through the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products or by the General Directorate of Public Health, Quality and Innovation. The duration of the effect of the repellents varies greatly depending on which is used (active ingredient, concentration and formulation), the ambient temperature, the level of sweating, exposure to water or simultaneous use with sunscreen creams.
Tips for using mosquito repellents
Despite the diversity of existing products, we can follow a series of general criteria when using them.
1. They should not be applied under clothing and should be used during the periods when they bite this type of mosquito, mid-morning and late in the afternoon, taking into account that the highest activity occurs between the months of May and November.
2. Avoid contact with mucous membranes, eyelids and lips, and do not apply on wounds, sensitive skin, burned by the sun or damaged.
3. In the case of using sunscreens, put these first and let pass at least 30 minutes to later apply the repellent.
4. Handwashing just use the repellent and do not use spray presentations on the face.
5. In the case of children, it is best to use mosquito nets whenever possible or other physical barriers and wear appropriate clothing that protects the skin, in addition to avoiding areas where there are mosquitoes
6. If it is necessary to use repellents, for traveling or living in areas where the risk of infected mosquito bites is very high, should be consult the labeling and the prospectus to assess which product is the most appropriate and how to use it and always remember that the product must be applied by an adult or under his supervision.
María Rojas Sanabria