Zika Prevention: Personal Protection Measures

Everyone can help prevent Zika transmission from occurring in Missouri by implementing two simple steps—control mosquitoes inside and outside your home and use personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites and prevent sexual transmission.

Preventing Mosquito Bites

Zika is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Zika can also be sexually transmitted and can be passed from a pregnant mother to her fetus during pregnancy. Because biting mosquitoes are the primary means of transmission it is very important to prevent mosquito bites.

graphic representing prevention: wear repellent on skin and clothing, use deet, and use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside

Protect Yourself, Family, Friends and Neighbors from Mosquito Bites

picture of adult applying repellent to child's face
Adults should spray insect repellent onto their hands, then apply to child’s face.

Protect Your Child from Mosquito Bites:

  • Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old.
  • Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol on children younger than 3 years old.
  • Dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs.
  • While outside, cover crib, stroller and baby carrier with mosquito netting.
  • Do not apply insect repellent onto a child’s hands, eyes, mouth or cut or irritated skin.
  • Adults: Spray insect repellent onto your hands then apply to a child’s face.

Preventing Sexual Transmission

picture of a couple

A person with Zika virus can pass it to his or her sex partners. Zika can be passed before symptoms start, while the person has symptoms, and after symptoms end.  Recent evidence indicates that an infected person can also transmit Zika virus to a sex partner even if the infected person never shows any symptoms of disease.  Scientists do know the Zika virus remains present in semen longer than in other body fluids, including vaginal fluids, urine, and blood.   Those living in or traveling to areas where Zika is circulating should take extra precautions to prevent the sexual transmission of Zika. The timeframe for using condoms or waiting to have sex will vary based on the couple’s situation and concerns. Not having sex can eliminate your risk of getting Zika from sex.

Protect your Partner from Zika

man talking to his doctor

If you have been diagnosed with Zika virus, CDC recommends condoms should be used for at least six months after you have recovered to prevent the spread of Zika.

Couples Who Are Pregnant

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Couples Trying to Become Pregnant

picture of a couple dragging their luggage and women may be pregnant

Others Concerned About the Sexual Transmission of Zika

picture of a condom package

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If you suspect you have or had Zika tell your doctor or healthcare provider.

  • Share what steps you have or haven’t taken to prevent mosquito bites.
  • Share if you have had unprotected sex.