Zika Virus – A mosquito borne illness. McNeely Pest Control, a member of National Pest Control Association, would like to share* some concerns over Zika virus. This illness is a dangerous mosquito-borne disease and it continues to grow at a rapid rate across the United States. The public is urged to take precautions now to help curb problems during the warmer months when biting mosquito populations tend to increase.
Top 5 Facts You Should Know About Zika In 2020
- Zika is transmitted through infected mosquitoes all across the United States and is especially prevalent in the southeastern US where there is hot weather and high humidity levels in the summer months.
Many areas in the United States have the type of mosquitoes that can spread Zika virus. These mosquitoes are aggressive daytime biters and can also bite at night. Also, Zika can be passed through sex from a person who has Zika to his or her sex partners.
- Prevention is the best strategy – keep mosquitoes at bay with these helpful tips:
“Currently, there is no medication to treat Zika virus, so those who experience symptoms should get plenty of rest, stay well hydrated and take acetaminophen for pain,” noted Dr. Jorge Parada, medical advisor for NPMA and infectious disease specialist. “The best way to avoid contracting Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases is to take preventive measures when spending time outdoors.”
- The type of Aedes mosquito that carries Zika virus is a daytime biter, so people should take steps to protect their skin from mosquito bites at all times of the day by applying an insect repellant containing at least 20% DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon-eucalyptus. Also, consider wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes.
- Mosquito-borne diseases that may be rare in the U.S. are common in many foreign countries, so anyone traveling outside of the country should be aware of travel advisories currently in effect. If a person falls ill upon returning home, seek prompt medical attention.
- Homeowners should eliminate areas of standing water around the property such as flowerpots, birdbaths, baby pools and grill covers. Mosquitoes need only about a half an inch of water to breed. It’s also recommended to screen all windows and doors, and patch up even the smallest tear. If you have concerns about mosquito activity, contact McNeely Pest Control and ask about our Mosquito Prevention Program. Scott McNeely, owner states: “Our Mosquito Home Prevention Program helps reduce populations of biting mosquitoes. Just as important is our inspection of your property as well as recommendations you can make to eliminate breeding sites. While impossible to eliminate all mosquitoes, our program will reduce populations of adult mosquitoes. Our program does not guarantee that you will never be bitten by mosquitoes since they can fly in from neighboring yards and properties. Our goal is to reduce populations and help you eliminate areas where mosquitoes breed. Our program does offer a reduction in the numbers of mosquitoes and thus reduces your chances of being bitten. Personal protection such as the use of DEET (recommended by the Center for Disease Control) will also help reduce mosquito bites.
- There is a scientific link between Zika and birth defects
Pregnant women are especially at risk for Zika due to a serious birth defect called microcephaly which causes abnormalities in brain development during pregnancy. Doctors have also identified other problems that cause issues for fetuses and infants infected with Zika before birth. Pregnant women and their partners should avoid travel to areas known to have Zika. Also, you should avoid having sex, or use condoms, every time, during your pregnancy, if you or your partner have traveled to any Zika infected areas.
- Stay away from Zika infected areas during pregnancy
If you must travel to one of these areas, talk to your healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during your trip
- Infected travelers can spread Zika through mosquito bites.
During the initial infection stage or first week of infection, Zika virus can be found in a person’s blood and can pass from an infected person to a mosquito through mosquito bites. An infected mosquito can then spread the virus to other people.