How to Keep Mosquitoes Away From Your Home

Between their itchy bites and their ability to carry diseases, mosquitoes are houseguests nobody wants. To really yank the welcome mat out from under them, get rid of any standing water around your home. You’ll be taking away the soggy spots where they are likely to lay their eggs. Here are their favorite watering holes and how to keep the area around your home dry.

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Zika Virus Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information

What is a Zika virus test?

Zika is a viral infection usually spread by mosquitos. It can also spread through sex with an infected person or from a pregnant woman to her baby. A Zika virus test looks for signs of the infection in blood or urine.

Mosquitos that carry the Zika virus are most common in areas of the world with tropical climates. These include islands in the Caribbean and the Pacific, and parts of Africa, Central America, South America, and Mexico. Mosquitos carrying the Zika virus have also been found in parts of the United States, including South Florida.

Most people infected with Zika have no symptoms or mild symptoms that last a few days to a week. But a Zika infection can cause serious complications if you are pregnant. A Zika infection during pregnancy can cause a birth defect called microcephaly. Microcephaly can severely affect the development of a baby’s brain. Zika infections during pregnancy have also been linked to an increased risk of other birth defects, miscarriage, and stillbirth.

In rare cases, children and adults infected with Zika may get a disease called Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). GBS is a disorder that causes the body’s immune system to attack part of the nervous system. GBS is serious, but treatable. If you get GBS, you will probably recover within a few weeks.

Other names: Zika Antibody Test, Zika RT-PCR Test , Zika test

What is it used for?

A Zika virus test is used to find out if you have a Zika infection. It is mostly used on pregnant women who have recently traveled to an area where there is a risk of Zika infection.

Why do I need a Zika virus test?

You may need a Zika virus test if you are pregnant and have recently traveled to an area where there is a risk of Zika infection. You may also need a Zika test if you are pregnant and have had sex with a partner who traveled to one of these areas.

A Zika test might be ordered if you have symptoms of Zika. Most people with Zika don’t have symptoms, but when there are symptoms, they often include:

What happens during a Zika virus test?

A Zika virus test is usually a blood test or a urine test.

If you are getting a Zika blood test, a health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.

If you are getting a Zika test in urine, ask your health care provider for instructions on how to provide your sample.

If you are pregnant and your prenatal ultrasound shows the possibility of microcephaly, your health care provider may recommend a procedure called amniocentesis to check for Zika. Amniocentesis is a test that looks at the fluid that surrounds an unborn baby (amniotic fluid). For this test, your provider will insert a special hollow needle into your belly and withdraw a small sample of fluid for testing.

Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?

You don’t any special preparations for a Zika virus test.

Are there any risks to the test?

There is very little risk to having a blood test. You may have slight pain or bruising at the spot where the needle was put in, but most symptoms go away quickly.

There are no known risks to a urine test.

Amniocentesis may cause some cramping or pain in your belly. There is a small chance the procedure will cause a miscarriage. Talk to your health care provider about the benefits and risks of this test.

What do the results mean?

A positive Zika test result probably means you have a Zika infection. A negative result can mean you aren’t infected or you were tested too soon for the virus to show up in testing. If you think you were exposed to the virus, talk to your health care provider about when or if you need to be retested.

If you are diagnosed with Zika and are pregnant, you can start to prepare for your baby’s possible health problems before he or she is born. While not all babies exposed to Zika have birth defects or any health problems, many children born with Zika have long-lasting special needs. Talk to your health care provider about how to get support and health care services should you need them. Early intervention may make a difference in your child’s health and quality of life.

If you are diagnosed with Zika and are not pregnant, but would like become pregnant in the future, talk to your health care provider. Currently, there is no evidence of Zika-related pregnancy complications in women who have fully recovered from Zika. Your provider can tell you how long you should wait before trying to have a baby and if you need to retested.

Is there anything else I need to know about a Zika virus test?

If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you should take steps to reduce your risk of getting a Zika infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that pregnant women avoid traveling in areas that may put you at risk for Zika infection. If you can’t avoid travel or if you live in one of these areas, you should:

  • Apply an insect repellent containing DEET on your skin and clothing. DEET is safe and effective for pregnant women.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants
  • Use screens on windows and doors
  • Sleep under a mosquito net

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8 Great Ways to Create a Healthy LifeStyle

In 1994, Congress declared National Men’s Health Week should be observed during these days leading up to Father’s Day. It represents an opportunity to raise awareness of the diseases and illnesses that are most prevalent among American men and to reiterate the importance of early detection and preventative health practices.  During this week,  all men are encouraged to evaluate both their mental and physical health and to focus on living a healthy lifestyle.

Establish Healthy Habits

There are many factors that contribute to your health including diet, exercise, stress management, and mental and emotional wellness.

  • Eat healthy portions of proteins and include a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Fruits and vegetables have many vitamins and minerals that may help protect you from chronic diseases. Limit foods and drinks high in calories, sugar, salt, fat, and alcohol.
  • Regular physical activity has many benefits. It can help control your weight, reduce your risk of heart disease and some cancers, and can improve your mental health and mood. Find fun ways to be active. Adults need a minimum of 2½ hours of physical activity each week.
  • Set an example by choosing not to smoke and encourage others in your life to quit smoking. Quitting smokinghas immediate and long-term benefits. You lower your risk for several types of cancer and don’t expose others to secondhand smoke—which causes health problems. Call your state’s tobacco quit line (for English speakers, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW [1-800-784-8669]; for Spanish speakers, call 1-855-DÉJELO-YA [1-855-335-3569])
  • Recognize and reduce stress. Physical or emotional tension are often signs of stress. They can be reactions to a situation that causes you to feel threatened or anxious. Learn ways to manage stress including finding support, eating healthy, exercising regularly, and avoiding drugs and alcohol?
  • Use a Condom, Every Time. It is that time of the year when Zika carrying mosquitoes will become a greater health hazard.  Although primarily spread through mosquitoes, Zika can also be spread through sex by a person with Zika to his or her sex partner(s). If you’ve traveled to an area with Zikause a condom to protect against infection every time you have sex.  This is especially important if your partner is pregnant because Zika can cause serious birth defects.  Condoms can also protect against HIV and other 

Get Regular Checkups

See a doctor or health professional for regular checkups and learn about your family health history.

  • Men are less likely than women to visit their healthcare providers, often missing out on critical treatments that can protect their overall health and wellbeing.  Individuals who have routine check-ups better understand the association between a healthy lifestyle and a greater quality of life.
  • Men can prepare for doctor’s visits and learn which preventive tests or screenings they need. Certain diseases and conditions may not have symptoms, so checkups help identify issues early or before they can become a problem.
  • It’s important for men (and women) to understand their family health history, which is a written or graphic record of the diseases and health conditions present in your family. It is helpful to talk with family members about health history, write this information down, and update it from time to time.

Know the Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack

Every 43 seconds, someone in the U.S. has a heart attack. Know the signs of a heart attack; and if you think you or someone you know is having a heart attack, call 911 immediately. Major signs of a heart attack include:

  • Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back
  • Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Pain or discomfort in arms or shoulder
  • Shortness of breath

Seek Help for Depression

Depression is one of the leading causes of disease or injury worldwide for both men and women.  Although Americans are living longer, healthier lives, we cannot ignore emotional and mental health, or the stigmas that prevent individuals from seeking treatment and recovery support services as part of their overall welfare.  Serious mental illness, such as major depressive disorder, has robbed too many of fathers, brothers, and sons of their potential, and has contributed to rising suicide and drug overdose rates.  Learn to recognize the signs and how to help the men in your life.

  • Signs of depressioninclude persistent sadness, grumpiness, feelings of hopelessness, tiredness and decreased energy, and thoughts of suicide.
  • Those that suffer from depression or anxiety should seek help as early as possible.If you or someone you care about is in crisis, please seek help immediately.
    • Call 911
    • Visit a nearby emergency department or your health care provider’s office
    • Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(1-800-273-8255); TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889) to talk to a trained counselor
    • Contact the National Helpline by calling1-800-662-HELP (4357).  It is a free service offered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration that can make confidential referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.  It is available 24 hours, 7 days a week.

As we observe Men’s Health Week, we celebrate the advances being made to improve healthcare for everyone and champion the importance of prioritizing both physical and mental health. is one of those great advances and a great place to start living a healthier life.  With HealthLynked, you can easily and securely compile all of your relevant health information and share it with those you choose.

HealthLynked will also start offering you great health reminders to ensure you are maintaining the best possible  levels of health for yourself and those who depend on you.

Ready to get Lynked?  Go to to get started in the future of HealthCare, here today!