I'm planning to go to South America in the next month.

Some countries like Brazil are preparing a campaign to control the mosquito to start in March. I think it is a late reaction.

My biggest concern is about microcephaly. My wife is about 32 years old and we don't have kids yet. I saw in the new the virus can be in the body for 2 years after the bite. But the news wasn't clear enough about the reaction and for how long the person would be the host of the virus.

Everyone who was bitten by the mosquito who cares the Zika virus will have a reaction or could it happen that the person doesn't have a reaction?

  • 1
    Why are you concerned about Zika, and not about any of the other hundreds of tropical maladies you may contact (dengue, etc.)?
    – CGCampbell
    Jan 29, 2016 at 0:51
  • 2
    The problem with the Zika is because the scientist suspect changes of a baby born with micocephaly increase in large scale in woman who were infected with Zica.
    – Afetter
    Jan 29, 2016 at 4:11
  • The same precautions you are advised to take against Malaria or Dengue (other than antimalrials) should hold against Zika too. Although I'm not sure of the times of activitiy for the mosquito that carries Zika.
    – CMaster
    Jan 29, 2016 at 8:49
  • 1
    Related: skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/31635/…
    – JonathanReez
    Jan 31, 2016 at 10:22

3 Answers 3


Most of the people won't have any reaction from what the news are saying. Then, it is really hard to know the long term impact of an infected mosquito bite.

With regards to protections :

  1. There are a lot of products available to protect yourself from mosquito. Those are pretty effective.
  2. Then, an obvious protection is to leave the lowest possible number of areas of your skin uncovered.
  3. Don't turn on light at night with an open window as it will attract mosquitos.
  4. There are also some phone applications that transmit noise on some frequencies that will cause the mosquitos to not approach. I have honestly not tested those so I don't know if it really works.
  • 3
    Mosquitoes are not attracted to light, as other flying insects are. They follow their senses looking for your heat and odors and they do it just as well in the dark as they do in the light.
    – user13044
    Jan 29, 2016 at 2:18
  • 2
    Furthermore, the mosquito that spreads Zika, dengue, and chikunguya bites only kb the daytime. The mosquito that spreads malaria bites only at night. Jan 29, 2016 at 12:43

No country will ever control the mosquito, at best they might reduce its population in cities. Mosquitoes are one place GMO would be great, modify their genes so the female does not need to blood to produce her eggs ;-)

There is only one real course of action against Zika, Dengue, JE and the myriad of other mosquito borne diseases ... don't get bitten.

  • Use mosquito repellent when you are out and about, especially if you are going to be sitting outdoors eating, walking in gardens or forest.

  • Keep your hotel room's doors and windows shut unless they have screen.

Basically do the same things you would do to avoid being bitten by insects at home. And don't let the media destroy your enjoyment, they are always hoping to find the next pandemic to talk about.


The same precautions to prevent malaria apply for preventing Zika. On top of that, the current and future spread of Zika is fairly well documented, so you could choose to avoid particular areas.

That said, though there are obvious risks, there are much more likely challenges to worry about (malaria, dengue, food poisoning, etc.)

As you can see in the comments, you're more likely to contract a tropical disease in the Americas than you as to be murdered, so it's fair to be somewhat concerned, but contracting a tropical disease does not automatically mean death.

Also, it seems the world is overreacting.

  • "but I suspect that the chance of getting murdered in a major South American city is larger than the chance of contracting Zik" As estimates for Zika infections over the next few years run as high as 2-3 million, I certainly hope that isn't true.
    – CMaster
    Jan 29, 2016 at 8:57
  • Indeed. Wikipedia puts the number of murders in the Americas at some 160000 per year and the BBC puts the number of predicted Zika infections in the Americas as up to four million. That's an order of magnitude in difference. Yet, the WHO states the number of cases of malaria in the Americas to be at around 800000 per year and dengue at about two million. So, I'll update my statement :)
    – MastaBaba
    Jan 29, 2016 at 12:06

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .