Zika Virus: What We Need to Know
Insects rarely make the headlines. When they do, bugs generate solid interest from the public. Insects are something that everyone can relate to. Most people have one or two types that they just can’t deal with. Sound familiar?
The latest pest in the news has been the mosquito. The West Nile virus must take a backseat to the latest powerhouse. Meet the Zika virus!
The Zika virus is a rare mosquito-borne disease primarily active outside of the United States. This virus has only affected Americans that have recently traveled to countries where the mosquitoes that transmit the Zika virus are found. These areas include tropical and sub-tropical regions. No local transmission of the virus has been documented in the United States.
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As more and more cases surface here in America, the virus could be spread by way of human to mosquito to human contact. It is highly unlikely that infected mosquitoes will travel to the USA and bring the Zika virus with them.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, only about 1 in 5 people that are infected with the Zika virus become ill. Flu like symptoms, rash and conjunctivitis could be signs of infection. There is no medication to treat the virus nor is there a vaccine to defend against it.
The most effective ways to prevent the spread of the virus is to wear clothing that protects the skin. The infected mosquitoes that do carry the Zika virus are Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and they are active during the middle of the day. These mosquitoes are not native to the United States. The Asian Tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) may also transmit the disease. Effective insect repellants containing 20% DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon-eucalyptus should be used to protect the skin. Consider all means of restricting breeding sites around your home or utilize a professional pest control firm to minimize mosquito populations.
Much is still unknown about the Zika virus. If you must travel to Central/South America or other areas outside the United States that are affected, use caution. Protect yourself and stay educated. This is not the first disease transmitted by the mosquito and it will not be the last. Common sense and a level head always apply!
Limit your risk of exposure by controlling the mosquitoes around your home. Contact us today to schedule your Mosquito Reduction Service!