Zika Virus Continues to Spread
An estimated 1.6 million cases of Zika, a virus that spreads through the bite of an infected Aedes species of Mosquito, have been reported since the outbreak in 2015. Aedes mosquitoes can be found in the United States and could spread Zika quite rapidly if they become infected by the virus. There currently is no vaccine for the Zika Virus and with thousands of US citizens traveling out of the country every day, it is likely to start transmitting locally.
Women who are pregnant must be especially careful not to be bit by an Aedes mosquito because the virus can be passed from a mother to her fetus. Serious birth defects have been reported in babies affected by Zika including a brain defect called microcephaly, which causes baby heads to be much smaller in size than expected. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises pregnant women to reconsider all travel plans to countries where the Zika virus has been reported.
Only one in five people who become infected with the virus will experience the symptoms of fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis, muscle pain and headache. If you have visited a country where the Zika Virus is present, get tested; otherwise 80 percent of cases will go undetected.
Luckily, vector-borne transmission of the Zika Virus has yet to be identified in the continental US, according to the CDC. As more US travelers visit countries where Zika has been confirmed, the likelihood of them getting bit and bringing the disease into the country increases, but the CDC is prepared for the possibility of an outbreak in the US. Although there is no cure yet, US laboratory workers have been trained to test for the virus and are working on control programs in preparation for a possible introduction of the disease. People rarely die from contracting the Zika Virus and very few have symptoms serious enough to put them in the hospital.
Even though Americans do not have to stress too much about the Zika Virus spreading in the US as of now, they should be aware of other viruses that mosquitos can carry. If you live in an area of wetlands, whether it be by a pond, marsh or swamp, or a hot and humid environment, be careful of mosquito bites. Not only do they cause itchy rashes, but they can carry West Nile Virus, malaria, elephantiasis and many other viral diseases like yellow fever. Mosquito borne illnesses cause millions of deaths every year and not only impact humans, but dogs and horses as well.
Protect yourself from bites by following these general guidelines from the CDC:
- First and foremost, your best defense is moving forward with a strong offense utilizing “Eliminate’Em Pest Control Services” for safe, effective applications of 100% natural repellents. Our treatments are effective and affordable. Call today and let us keep your family Mosquito and Tick free!
- Wear long sleeved shirts and long pants when outside for long periods of time
- Stay inside whenever possible during the warmer months; rely on air conditioning rather than open windows, or invest in screens to keep mosquitoes out
- Supplemental insect repellents that are registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for their effectiveness
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