What You Need to Know about Zika Virus

It’s hard to turn on the news without seeing an update on the Zika virus epidemic. While there is certainly cause for concern, taking the time to learn more and apply some basic precautions will go a long way to help defend against Zika and other mosquito-borne viruses.

We have received several questions about Zika from our valued customers and thought we would share some answers to the questions we get the most.

What is Zika virus?

Zika virus has been experienced around the world for many years with the first reported case occurring in 1940’s Uganda. The illness experienced by Zika virus disease can be mild to severe, however there have been reported birth defects in pregnant women infected. In February of 2016 the World Health Organization declared Zika virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

How do you get Zika virus?
In most cases Zika virus is transmitted by the bite of an Aedes mosquito. Mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus have not been reported in the United States yet.

What are the signs and symptoms associated with Zika?
Those infected with Zika virus may experience muscle or joint pain, sweating, eye pain or redness, headaches, and symptoms commonly associated with the flu such as vomiting, fever, fatigue and chills.

Which states have seen cases of Zika?
According to the CDC, there have been roughly 452 Zika cases in the United states over the last year with 40 cases occurring in California. None of these cases were locally acquired, all patients had traveled to an area where mosquitoes carrying the virus were prevalent.

How can you protect yourself from Zika virus?

Although mosquitoes carrying Zika have not been reported in the United States yet, they have traveled to new countries already and precautions should be taken in case they do. It is also important to keep in mind that mosquitos have been known to carry several other diseases including yellow fever, malaria, and West Nile virus.

It goes without saying that you should take extreme caution when traveling abroad. Look ahead before making plans to see how frequent Zika activity is and plan accordingly with proper attire and repellent if necessary.

  • Protect your home by removing still standing water, where mosquitoes breed.
  • Install secure screens on all windows and doors, and make sure doors and windows are properly sealed.
  • If a nearby water source causes increased mosquito activity near the home a mosquito net may be a good solution for nighttime protection.
  • Mosquito sprays and creams are good temporary protections, especially when spending time outdoors. They do only last a few hours so be sure to reapply.
  • Mosquito repellent lights, candles, and lamps also offer some protection for a small area.
  • Having a BBQ outdoors? Temporary mosquito abatement can keep the mosquitos at bay so that you can enjoy your company with less interruption. Give us a call to learn more about mosquito solutions for your home or business.