WHEN Meghan Markle announced her pregnancy last week, many royal watchers were surprised to learn she would still be going to Fiji and Tonga with Prince Harry.
Bot countries have had recent outbreaks of Zika virus, with the Australian Department of Health recommending pregnant women delay non-essential travel to places affected by the disease.
But the Duchess of Sussex has been employing a subtle trick to lessen her risk of contracting the illness, and it’s got everything to do with her wardrobe choices so far in Fiji.
“Wearing long sleeves and baggy clothes will help,” Professor James G. Logan, Head of the Department of Disease Control at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, told People magazine.
“Mosquitos can even bite through jeans so if the clothing is loose it’s much harder for the mosquito to bite.
“Wearing light-coloured clothing can help as these mosquitoes are often attracted to dark clothing. It also helps you spot them, if you see a dark mosquito on a light piece of clothing.”
Since arriving in Fiji, Meghan has swapped in her fitted wardrobe for a looser tailored white Zimmerman dress and a billowing blue cape gown by Safiyaa on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Meghan wore another loose outfit, this time a printed wrap maxi dress by Figue.
Professor Logan also said Meghan would likely be wearing a mosquito repellent lotion — which gives much stronger protection than the Mortein spray that gets passed around at barbecues in Australia.
Last week, Kensington Palace confirmed the Duchess of Sussex had sought medical advice and decided to proceed with the planned trip.
However, Meghan will not be the Fiji War Memorial or Colo-i-Suva Forest Park likely due to the higher risk of mosquitoes.
The World Health Organisation classifies Tonga as a “category 1” risk country while Fiji is considered a “Category 2” country for the virus.
Both countries are considered “areas with risk of Zika infection” and it’s recommended pregnant women don’t travel to Fiji and Tonga.
Spread through infected mosquitoes, Zika virus can cause severe foetal brain defects if contracted while pregnant.