Menstruating Attracts Mosquitoes Causing Zika?

With the first locally transmitted Zika case (41 cases confirmed) in Singapore, everyone has been on their toes to take protective measures.

The rave about Zika virus causing birth defects, particularly microcephaly with no cure, has stunned us.

microcephaly-measuring
Photo credits: CDC

Such a small creature causing such extravagant disaster. Scary isn’t it?

 

First of all, let’s establish what Zika Virus is.

aedes aegypti mosquito
Photo credits: Science Magazine

The Zika virus is generally a mild disease. It may cause a viral fever similar to dengue or chikungunya, with fever, skin rashes, body aches, and headache. Some infected with the Zika virus may not even develop symptoms. (Source)

 

How is Zika transmitted?

Sexually Transmitted

Men infected with Zika have been reported to pass the virus to their respective partners. The first reported female-to-male transmission occurred in New York City. Therefore, do avoid having any sexual intercourse with your partner if he had visited a country infected by Zika, unless it is really necessary. If so, do use condom for at least 6 months!

Mother to Child

Pregnant women have been reported to pass Zika virus to her fetus during pregnancy. It can be passed around the time of birth. Although, there have been no reports of infants getting Zika virus through brestfeeding.

Blood Transfusion

Laboratory Exposure

Mosquitoes

Zika virus infection is transmitted by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. The Aedes mosquito is also a known carrier of the Dengue and Chikungunya viruses. (Source) Female mosquitoes usually bite humans to consume nutrition for developing and laying eggs. They are usually aggressive daytime biters and if they are infected with Zika virus, it is transfused in your blood.

If mosquitoes suck blood…would our period blood attract them?

Let’s find out.

Why do Mosquitoes bite you?

things-that-attract-mosquitoes
Photo credits: Modern Survival Blog

Mosquitoes are actually attracted to:

  1. Certain chemicals in your skin and body (example lactic acid)

  2. Humans with blood type O are more attractive.

  3. People with higher resting metabolic rates.

    Pregnant women and overweight people usually have higher resting metabolic rates. Carbon Dioxide is one of the primary methods used in identifying bite targets. With a higher resting metabolic rates, you tend to breathe out more CO2, therefore attracting mosquitoes.

  4. Dark clothing is more attractive.

    Due to their density, mosquitoes face problems flying in slight wind. Therefore, they keep close to the ground. They spot their hosts by comparing silhouette and dark colours stand out in comparison to light colours.

 

Your blood type could be the main culprit behind attracting mosquitoes. However it is hard to avoid your genes as you are born with it.

What about Menstruation?

Let’s get back to the main point about periods. There have not been any reports that menstruation attracts mosquitoes.

However, while menstruating, women usually wear dark clothes and have higher metabolic rates (as we rest and do not exercise much). This might indirectly be the cause of attracting mosquitoes, if not the main reason.

Also, if you have blood type O, good luck! 🙁

 

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Apekshya is an eternal panda. She loves to eat, sleep and then eat some more. In her spare time, she writes, then sleeps again. She also constantly dreams about being a superstar, and then eats (because she is not). If you understand her pain, she is open to receiving chocolates on a daily basis.

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