With Zika Virus being all over the news, it can be frightening. The story is fluid and ever-changing, so we’ve brought some of the basic facts to you. Follow our blog, as we will continue to keep you up to date with new information. The cases of Zika in the US are no longer just travel related. As of August 24th, the CDC reports 29 cases of locally acquired Zika in Florida. Travel borne cases are up to 2,488 with 19 of those in Kentucky. The CDC has issued travel warnings for Florida to those that are pregnant or want to become pregnant. Visit the CDC site for continued updates, especially if there is travel in your future.
Zika is a virus that is primarily transmitted through the bite of an infected aedes aegypti or aedes albopictus mosquito. These mosquitoes are aggressive daytime & nighttime feeders. Mosquitoes become infected when they bite an infected person, passing the virus from human to human through mosquito bites. It is essential that if you have Zika Virus, you avoid mosquitoes for the first week to avoid spreading the disease further. Zika is also transmitted through sexual contact, blood transfusions, laboratory exposure, and can be passed from mother to child in the womb, according to the CDC. The birth defect Microcephaly that was said to be “linked” to Zika, in the beginning, is now confirmed. This causes a baby to be born with a much smaller head and usually results in underdeveloped brains compared to other babies. Other issues connected to this birth defect can include seizures, loss of vision, delayed development, hearing loss, and intellectual disabilities.
Zika is 80% asymptomatic, meaning only 20% of infected people will become sick with Zika illness. Symptoms of Zika can include rash, fever, joint pain, muscle pain or a headache. Symptoms are typically mild and last from a few days to a week. See your doctor if you think you have Zika to be tested and receive advice on managing symptoms.
There are no vaccines and no specific treatments for the Zika virus. Managing symptoms with your doctor’s advice is the best way to handle the illness. Get plenty of rest, drink fluids and talk to your doctor about over the counter medications to relieve symptoms.
Zika came to the forefront in 2016 due to a link between Zika in pregnant mothers and a birth defect in their newborn babies called microcephaly. That link has since become confirmed. Zika is a significantly dangerous factor for those who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant and are planning to travel in any area that has been listed on the CDC’s travel notice page. Be sure to consult that as well as the page concerning pregnancy and the Zika Virus for the most up to date information. Zika has also been linked to a rare condition called Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Guillain-Barre creates weakness in the muscles and is caused by a variety of viral infections. It varies in severity but has been known to cause weakness in the muscles that control breathing and can cause temporary paralysis. This is just another example of how we are still learning the effects of the Zika virus and how important it is to be proactive in protection.
The best way to prevent Zika is to avoid mosquitoes and mosquito bites. With no vaccine or specific treatment, prevention is the best option. Mosquito Squad of Louisville can eliminate 85-90% of the mosquitoes in your yard with our traditional barrier spray treatment. We’ll come back every 3 weeks all season long to make sure your yard can be enjoyed worry free. Call today 502.315.9097 to sign up.
To further eliminate mosquitoes in your yard, be sure to also follow the 5 T’s of mosquito control.