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How to avoid exposure to the Zika virus

Mosquitoes have always been an annoying part of summer, but suddenly they seem to loom larger and buzz louder.

With the world facing its latest health threat from the mosquito-borne Zika virus, you might be tempted to cancel your summer trip to Mexico or points south, including Brazil - even if you were lucky enough to snag tickets to the Summer Olympics.

Or, in the U.S., you might worry about getting bitten by a Culex mosquito. That's the species that carries the West Nile virus, which now is endemic in California. While the global village we live in means we can no longer wave off certain diseases as distant epidemics, health officials also say there's no cause for panic.

Certainly, with the risks of Zika-related birth defects, pregnant women should carefully consider visiting countries dealing with outbreaks.

Still, the rest of us can reduce our risk by using simple precautions.

The Lawton Constitution

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