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Zika: The Basics

September 13, 2016


mosquito up close

We have all seen the news reports about the dangerous spread of the Zika virus, especially with the 2016 Olympics in Rio, but there is a lot that we don’t know about this virus and even more that the reporters don’t mention in their broadcasts.  Here are some of the basics about the Zika virus, courtesy of Nozzle Nolen and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Zika virus is primarily spread through mosquito bites and unprotected sex. Zika is carried by the Aedes species mosquito, which is found in the tropics including many areas of the United States.  If a pregnant woman is infected with the Zika virus, then it can be transmitted to the fetus.  Zika can be spread to new areas through mosquito bites when travelers who have been infected with Zika return home.  The Zika virus stays in a person’s bloodstream for a week when first infected and the infected person can transmit Zika to a mosquito if the mosquito bites them during this week.  To prevent further spreading, travelers who have been infected with the Zika virus should do their best to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes through the use of insect repellents, such as Moskito Care, and by staying covered with jeans and jackets when outside.

 Most people who get infected with Zika will not get sick.  If they do get sick it will only last for a short period of time.  This is the reason why many cases of the Zika virus go unreported.  The most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes.  When a woman is infected during her pregnancy, Zika has been linked to birth defects, specifically microcephaly.  Pregnant women are advised not to travel to known areas where Zika has spread, such as the Wynwood neighborhood in Miami.  On the bright side, every county health department in the state of Florida is offering FREE Zika testing kits to pregnant women.  Florida’s governor Rick Scott mandated that our health departments offer free Zika testing to all pregnant women.  Unfortunately, the results can take anywhere from two weeks to a month to come in, but at least they are free thanks to Governor Rick Scott!

Preventing mosquito bites is the best way to prevent the spread of Zika. Prevent bites by using insect repellent, such as Moskito Care with Picaridin, by covering your skin with long-sleeved shirts or jeans, by staying in places with air-conditioning and screens, and by removing any standing water in your surroundings.  The best way to prevent the sexual transmission of the Zika virus is by practicing safe sex with the use of condoms or other similar products; if the product can protect against Sexually Transmitted Diseases in general, then it should also be able to protect against the Zika virus.

 Ending on a positive note, I do have some interesting news that you may not know about: Those who have been infected by the Zika virus are likely to be protected from future Zika infections.  This means that if you have had Zika once, then you probably won’t get it again. Even though it may only be good news if you were already infected with the Zika virus, it is still pretty interesting!

If you feel the need to grab some insect repellent after reading this post, we here at Nozzle Nolen recommend the insect repellent Moskito Care.  If you are interested in purchasing Moskito Care or if you have any questions about the Zika Virus or Nozzle's mosquito control services available for properties from Sebastian to Delray Beach, please call one of our Nozzle Nolen representatives at (888) 685-0376.

Sources

"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




 

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