Zika Prevention for Rio 2016

So here we are, en route to (being en route to being closer to getting to) Rio de Janeiro for the Olympic Games. As we sit on the Delta Sky Club lounge in Atlanta, we wanted to share with you how we made sure to mitigate the risk of contracting Zika while we’re down there.

As much as we love supporting Team USA (and Team Argentina and Team Italy for that matter), we don’t want to come back with a nice Zika surprise.  With that said, there are a few things you can do to limit your risk of contracting the nasty bug.  We’re going threefold with our protection. Permethrin soaking, wristbands, and DEET spray


This has been used by the armies of the USA and Canada for decades as a way to treat clothing to stop mosquitoes, chiggers, ticks, etc.  You can also use it for going out hunting, camping and just traveling to high risk areas.  It’s quite easy to apply.  Just get to an open place, spray, and let your clothes dry out. One application will last for 42 days of UV exposure or 6 washes.  The brand that we used, and the brand that is most commonly used is Sawyer Permethrin.  Twelve ounces is good for two outfits (shirt/pants/socks), so plan accordingly when buying yours.

Sawyer Permethrin (ignore the construction crane)

Sawyer Permethrin (ignore the construction crane)

Here’s a play by play of the best way to handle spraying down your clothes:

Step 1 – Spray on your shirts

Spray Permethrin

Step 2 – Hang to Dry

Step 3 – Go for the shorts

Step 4 – Have a coffee and wait it out 🙂



Another simple and easy way (and non toxic) is to use wristbands.  Typically these use essential oils to repel the little guys, and are good for just over 10 days of protection.  They also claim to be waterproof, so don’t worry if it’s hot or humid.

DEET products

The CDC recommends using an insect repellent with at least 50% DEET, with higher concentrations providing longer coverage time but with no added protection benefits.  If you want to make absolutely sure, you can use the 100% variety to make it last longer, which is what our local REI recommended. The brand that we have is Repel 100, and you can get it online or at Amazon.

Make sure to keep following us over the next few days while we update you on our Rio adventures as we’ll be tweeting and posting as often as possible.



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Author: Ben Nickel-D'Andrea

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