Zika Virus and Traveling Abroad

MosquitoWe’ve been providing Northwest Arkansas with outdoor gear for more than three decades. Whenever you’re looking to get out and explore the Ozarks, we’re the people to see. Many of our customers have a wanderlust that takes them abroad, however. Over the years, we have outfitted countless people for trips overseas to more exotic locations around the globe.

These customers of course ask about quick drying travel clothing, water purifiers, and TSA compliant day packs, but recent news about Zika virus has many travelers asking about how to keep mosquitoes away.

So far the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have confirmed two cases of Zika virus in Arkansas. Both of those individuals, however, contracted the virus after traveling overseas to Central America. So far, Zika virus has not been transmitted by mosquitoes in the United States, but there are many countries with active Zika transmission. These countries include most of Central and South America as well as several Pacific Islands and Cape Verde in Africa. The CDC recommends extreme caution when traveling overseas in order to prevent Zika virus.

Here’s what you can do to keep yourself safe.

  • Avoid areas with standing water that breed mosquitoes.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants to protect against mosquito bites.
  • Wear insect repellent that will deter mosquitoes.
  • Sleep under mosquito netting.
  • Stay indoors during times when mosquitoes are most active (dawn and dusk).

The CDC also recommends that travelers take extra precautions to avoid mosquito bites once returning to the United States. This can help prevent the spread of Zika to mosquitoes in the U.S.

While you can try your best to avoid mosquitoes and hide under nets and long clothing, the best way to keep mosquitoes at bay is with mosquito repellent. We sell Sawyer Fisherman’s Formula with picaridin – which was rated as the most effective insect repellent in preventing Zika virus by Consumer Reports – in a 3 0z. TSA-friendly spray. Picaridin is considered to be just as effective and much safer than DEET, and will not damage clothing or equipment.

We also sell outdoor apparel and clothing for travel that can help keep you protected on your adventures. Stop by and see us before you take that backpacking trip in Peru, or head out for field work in Belize. We’d love to get your outfitted!

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