Transmission – How children can be infected?
The infants and children, except newborns, get Zika only through bites of mosquitoes.
Children cannot pass Zika to each other through touching, sneezing, or coughing.
Breastfeeding and Zika
To date, no cases of Zika have been reported from breastfeeding. Because of the benefits of breastfeeding, mothers are encouraged to breastfeed, even in areas where Zika virus is found.
Symptoms of Zika
Common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. Symptoms usually go away within a few days to one week.
It be should be noted that many people infected with Zika do not have symptoms.
How to protect children from Zika?
The best way to protect children from Zika is to prevent mosquito bites.
There are many ways you can help protect children from Zika.
Apply mosquitoes repellent
The following precaution should be taken when you use mosquitoes repellents:
(i) Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months.
(ii) Always follow instructions when applying insect repellent to children.
(iii) Do not apply insect repellent onto a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, and cut or irritated skin.
(iv) Spray insect repellent onto adult’s hands first and then apply to a child’s face.
(v) Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD) on children under 3 years old.
(vi) Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing.
(vii) Reapply as directed as their effectiveness will lose over some time. According to NEA website (http://www.dengue.gov.sg), citronella is effective for short durations and has to be reapplied more frequently. Tiger palm mosquitoes repellent patch is known to contain citronella oil.
Wear protective clothing and light-color clothes
Dress your child in long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Wear light-colored clothes as dark color like black and blue will attract mosquitoes.
Cover crib, stroller, and baby carrier with mosquito netting.
Control mosquitoes in and around your home
Keep windows and doors shut and use air conditioning when possible.
Turn pails and watering cans over and store them under shelter
Loosen soil from potted plants to prevent the accumulation of stagnant water on the surface of the hardened soil.
Do not block the flow of water in scupper drains along common corridors in HDB estates. Avoid placing potted plants and other paraphernalia over the scupper drains.
Cover rarely used gully traps. Replace the gully trap with non-perforated ones and install anti-mosquito valves
Cover bamboo pole holders after use. Rainwater can potentially accumulate in these bamboo pole holders if they are uncovered and create a habitat.
No tray or receptacles should be placed beneath and/or on top of any air-conditioning unit so as not to create a condition favourable for mosquito breeding.
Remove water in plant pot plates. Clean and scrub the plate thoroughly to remove mosquito eggs. Avoid the use of plant pot plates, if possible.
Change water in flower vases. Clean and scrub the inner sides of vases. Wash roots of flowers and plants thoroughly as mosquito eggs can stick to them easily.
Last, always follow the latest update from MOH and NEA. If the area where you stay is affected, you may need to step up the measure.