Image forZika Virus Poses a Likely Threat on the Mediterranean Yachting Season

The Mediterranean region has always been one of the top destinations among the Superyachts during the summer period from April to October. The sub-tropical Mediterranean climate provides the perfect conditions for yacht chartering whilst the region itself offers the most diversity in terms of countries, culture, history and facilities than any other yacht charter destination thanks to its coastal access to many countries.

As the yachting season has just recently set off and the weather is getting warmer, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that it is very likely that the Zika virus, an emerging mosquito-borne virus that is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito and which, for pregnant women causes babies being born with extra small heads and developmental problems, will also spread to Europe this summer through “yellow fever” mosquitos called “Aedes albopictus”.

This particular type of mosquitos are commonly found in southern European countries such as France, Italy, Malta, Spain, Slovenia, Switzerland, Greece and Croatia. They are also the carriers of dengue and chikungunya, which causes severe symptoms such as high fever, headaches, muscular pain and, in rare cases, death. Over the last decade, there have been cases of small outbreaks of the two previously mentioned viruses in France and Croatia before. Experts have alerted that the spread of mosquito-borne diseases may accelerate thanks to increased international travel and trade as well as due to global warming and that people should remain cautious.

There is no vaccine available yet, however to take care of one’s safety and to militate against these viruses - it is advised to minimise outdoor activities between sunset and sunrise when mosquitoes are most active (especially two hours after sunrise and a few hours before sunset). When outdoors, consider wearing proper clothing (preferably light coloured) that covers as much of the body as possible and using insect repellent (with concentrations of DEET up to 50%) as well as spraying clothing with it, since mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing. We advise you to stay alert and keep up to date with the circumstances.

To read more about it, click here World Health Organization urges action to prevent Zika virus spread in Europe and/or here Gulf News Science: Climate change may boost spread of Zika, other viruses.

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