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Five W’s and an H About the Zika Virus

November 5, 2016


mosquito bite

What?

What are the symptoms of the Zika virus?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most common symptoms of the Zika virus are fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes; people who get sick from Zika will only feel these mild symptoms for a brief time, usually lasting no longer than a week.  However, in most cases, people who get infected with Zika do not experience any symptoms at all.  This explains why many cases of the Zika virus go unreported.   Unfortunately, not all of the symptoms are mild: birth defects found in the newborns of infected mothers are the most severe, most heartbreaking symptom of Zika.

What type of mosquito carries the Zika virus?

The Zika virus is carried by the Aedes species of mosquito.

When?

When are the Zika-carrying Aedes mosquitoes most active? 

Aedes mosquitoes are active daytime biters.  Protect yourself by incorporating insect repellant application into your morning routine.

When is it safe to conceive following exposure to the Zika virus? 

Unfortunately, there is no definitive evidence on how long Zika can remain in your system.  We do know that our immune systems will eventually clear the Zika virus from our bodies.  The CDC’s official recommendation for people who were infected is for both partners to wait for at least six months after their initial recovery before trying to become pregnant.

Where?

Where did the Zika virus originate? 

The Zika virus originated in South America, specifically in the populous country of Brazil.

Where are the Zika-carrying Aedes mosquitoes most commonly found? 

Aedes mosquitoes thrive in warm and humid climates, so they are most commonly found in tropical regions such as South Florida.

Where do the Zika-carrying Aedes mosquitoes form breeding grounds?

Zika-carrying Aedes mosquitoes form breeding grounds in pools of standing water.  Some common places to find standing water in your own backyard are buckets, planters, toys, tires, pool covers, flower pots, bottle caps, gutters, pet dishes, fountains, bird baths, etc. 

Who? 

Who is most threatened by the Zika virus?

Pregnant women and their babies are the most threatened by the Zika virus because, when transmitted to pregnant women, Zika has been linked to serious birth defects, specifically causing microcephaly.

Why?

Why should Florida locals be concerned?

Florida was the first State in the continental United States to have documented cases of the Zika virus that were transmitted from mosquitoes, and most of the cases were found in South Florida.  As locals, we need to take extra precautions to protect ourselves from Zika.  It is also more important that we do our part to prevent the spread of Zika and control the population of mosquitoes.

How?

How is the Zika virus transmitted?

The Zika virus is primarily spread through mosquito bites and unprotected sex.  Infected travelers can further the spread of Zika because the virus stays in a person’s bloodstream for a week when first infected and the infected person can transmit this virus to a mosquito if the mosquito bites them during that first week.

How can you help prevent the spread?

Preventing mosquito bites works to protect individuals from becoming infected, as well as to stave off further spreading.  You should always do your best to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes, even if you are already infected: in fact, people who have just been infected should try especially hard to prevent mosquito bites in order to contain the virus.

You can also hinder the spread by removing any standing water in your surroundings and by doing so getting rid of potential mosquito breeding grounds.  If you are unable to dump the water out, then you can treat the pool with larvicide.

How long will the Zika virus stay in your system?

There is no evidence of the virus staying in your system past recovery from the brief period of sickness during the first week of infection.  Unfortunately, there is very little known about this new virus and leaving us with a mountain of uncertainties and unanswered questions.  On the bright side, there are blood and urine tests available that can confirm a Zika infection.   

If you have any questions about the Zika virus or if you are interested in learning more about Nozzle Nolen’s mosquito control services, please contact us today!  Providing mosquito treatments for property owners in West Palm Beach and throughout South Florida from Sebastian to Deerfield Beach, we are ready to help you stop these biting pests!

Sources

"Controlling Mosquitoes at the Larval Stage." EPA. US Environmental Protection Agency, 06 July 2016. Web. <https://www.epa.gov/ mosquitocontrol/controlling- mosquitoes-larval-stage>.

"Florida Offers Free Zika Test Kits for Pregnant Women." WFLA. News Channel 8, 03 Aug. 2016. Web. http://wfla.com/2016/08/03/ florida-gov-offers-free-zika- test-kits-for-pregnant-women/

"Zika Virus." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 18 Aug. 2016. Web. http://www.cdc.gov/zika/index. html

Fox, Maggie. "Can I Ever Get Pregnant? And Other Questions About Zika Virus." NBC News. NBC, 30 Sept. 2016. Web. <http://www.nbcnews.com/ storyline/zika-virus-outbreak/ can-i-ever-get-pregnant-other- questions-about-zika-virus- n583231>.




 

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