This Popular Summer Drink Increases Your Risk for Zika Virus

Kelsey Clark

Public service announcement for all backyard barbecue enthusiasts: Arguably the most popular summertime beverage has been linked to increased mosquito attraction, despite all logic and reason. Drinking even just one beer could increase your risk of getting mosquito bites, thus amplifying your chance of contracting unwanted viruses, according to a new video from AOL. Based off of a 2013 study from PubMed.gov, participants who consumed one beer were more likely to attract the pests than those who consumed nothing.

While extensive studies on different types of alcohol consumption and mosquito attraction have yet to be conducted, this study is definitely bad news for beer drinkers. Having resurfaced in light of the Zika virus epidemic, this information can at least aid in mosquito-avoidance tactics and hopefully keep summertime revelers safe. 

Above all, your blood type is the greatest indicator of whether or not you're a mosquito hot spot; and there's not much you can do about it. According to Medical Daily, "mosquitoes' attraction to us has 85 percent to do with genetics. Genes dictate our blood type and the chemical makeup of our skin."

A 2004 study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology found that people with type O blood were nearly twice as likely to attract mosquitoes than those with type A, while those with type B fell somewhere in the middle. Mosquitoes can detect our blood type through a chemical we have on our skin, making those with type O blood particularly vulnerable. Experts recommend dressing in long-sleeved, loose-fitting clothing and applying bug spray in order to mitigate risk.

Throwing a backyard barbecue this summer? Shop our favorite backyard accessories, and stock up on the bug spray!

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