Despite Fiji and Tonga having a moderate risk of Zika virus transmission, pregnant Meghan Markle has still chosen to visit these countries as part of her 16-day tour with Prince Harry.
Now it’s been revealed how the 37-year-old Duchess of Sussex, who is four months into her pregnancy, is navigating her overseas travels to avoid the disease which is mainly spread by mosquitos and can cause serious birth defects, in particular, abnormally small heads (microcephaly).
On Wednesday Meghan was seen wearing a long-sleeved flowing dress during her official engagements in Fiji’s capital, Suva, and her breezy attire was apparently a very calculated choice.
“There is a lot you can do to minimise risks,” Professor James G. Logan, Head of the Department of Disease Control at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, told PEOPLE.
“Wearing long sleeves and baggy clothes will help. Mosquitos can even bite through jeans so if the clothing is loose it’s much harder for the mosquito to bite.”
Upon arriving in Suva on Tuesday afternoon, Meghan stepped off the plane in a long-sleeved white Zimmerman dress, again an outfit aligning with Professor Logan’s comments.
“Wearing light coloured clothing can help as these mosquitos are often attracted to dark clothing. It also helps you spot them, if you see a dark mosquito on a light piece of clothing,” he said.
UK health authorities recommend that those who are already expecting should consider postponing non-essential travel to areas with a moderate risk, until after pregnancy.
Recently it was reported that the royal couple would have done their research and sought professional advice before deciding to make the trip to these countries.
“The Duke and Duchess will have taken advice at the highest level before deciding that they were happy to go ahead and plan the trip,” a source told the Daily Mirror.
“Every precaution will be taken. The royal couple’s health is naturally of the utmost importance,” they added.
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