by Paola Medrano Pineda
The first line of defense against any bacteria or virus would be your skin. In order for the mosquito to pass the virus would have to first, pass through the skin. Another line of defense would be the mucosa in the digestive or respiratory tract since it also helps fight off foreign substances that enter the body. That is why many of us do not realize how important it is to take care of our bodies on a day-to-day basis. Fluids that are excreted from our tears, sweat, saliva, or mucous can act as antimicrobials to kill foreign pathogens trying to enter the body. The second line of defense would be the immune response our body does when coming in contact with a virus or bacteria. The immune system tries to fight off the pathogen by trapping it into another cell by using cells (phagocytes) found in our blood and tissues. Another line of defense would be where our body attempts to recognize the pathogen once it’s been introduced to it in the past and then trap it in a cell which it later eliminates from the body. Later on, when it sees the same virus or bacteria the body will know how to eliminate it. Ways to prevent Zika would be to wear mosquito repellent, avoid bodily fluid contact (blood, urine, etc.) or avoid having sexual intercourse with a person who can be potentially infected with Zika. When traveling, it is good to monitor to see if there has been some type of outbreak in the country you will be visiting as well. Our body is a beautiful world of living systems that work together to try and keep homeostasis. It’s better to be safe than sorry!