The Zika Virus has been in the news a lot lately because of its rapid spread and significant impact on the babies of pregnant women once infected, confirmed to be the cause of severe fetal brain abnormalities, and the fact that there is no vaccine. (The CDC notes that it also affects adults with different symptoms.) Like so many illnesses, it is spread by infected mosquitos. The good news is that this virus is not yet in Colorado. The bad news is that you could easily travel to an infected area on vacation. And right here in Colorado, other mosquito-borne illnesses, such as West Nile Virus, are prevalent.
Ticks are also carriers of disease and are known for carrying Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease, among other illnesses. Lyme Disease is not just an East coast thing; on the contrary, the disease is quickly spreading all across the United States. According to Sciencemag.org, "Lyme disease cases have tripled in the United States over the last 2 decades, making it the most commonly reported vector-borne disease in the Northern Hemisphere. The disease now affects around 300,000 Americans each year."
As anglers, we love bugs! But we are even more at risk of getting unwanted bites than the general public because being around water during the summer means being near mosquito breeding ground and accessing rivers means hiking through potential tick areas.
What Can You Do To Protect Yourself?
When in areas with potential disease-carrying insects take the following steps:
Insect Repellant Clothing
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Insect Shield® is material treated with the insect repellent permethrin—resulting in effective, odorless insect protection that lasts the expected lifetime of the product, repelling mosquitos, ticks, flies and fleas.
Men's ExOfficio BugsAway® Apparel
Women's ExOfficio BugsAway®
Men's BugStopper Apparel by Simms:
Women's BugStopper Hoody by Simms
Come into the shop before you head up into the mountains for your insect-repellant gear!
Orvis 101 Introduction to Fly Fishing
Orvis 201 Streamside