Zika Facts: What You Need to Know

In today’s world, it seems that each new day brings something else to fear. Whether it’s a natural disaster, the spread of disease, or the current political climate. While there’s nothing fun about focusing our time and energy about these worries, the best thing we can do to protect ourselves and our families is become more informed. Today we’ll be talking about Zika virus, a trending topic which is a growing concern for Americans. We’ll share the facts, giving you the information you need to feel confident that you’re doing all you can to help keep your family safe and healthy.

What is the Zika Virus?
Zika is a virus which is spread primarily through mosquito bites. The Center for Disease Control or CDC reports that Zika virus can cause symptoms like rash, fever, eye redness, and joint pain, as well as rarer symptoms including headaches and muscle pain. While these are the most commonly reported symptoms, it has been found that many people who are infected with the Zika Virus do not have any symptoms at all. While the virus was first discovered in the 1940’s, the current outbreak of the disease started in Brazil. Since the outbreak began in 2015, transmission of the virus has increased and spread to various areas in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.

Zika is Here
A little over a month ago, the first few cases of domestically-transmitted Zika were reported. This was confirmed by testing mosquitoes from the area and confirming the presence of Zika virus in their blood. These mosquitoes and 43 subsequent “locally-acquired” Zika infections were discovered in one area of Florida, but currently nowhere else within the US. Because mosquitoes fly, breed in standing water, and congregate in areas where humans are, they can move from this area and could potentially spread Zika to other parts of the country. While measures are being taken to prevent this, it makes sense to be prepared to protect yourself.

Zika Effects
Although the full effects of Zika are still being learned, the biggest cause for concern is the effect on fetuses when expecting mothers contract the virus. Since the beginning of the outbreak, 18 infants have been born with a birth defect called microcephaly, or other birth defects as a result of the Zika infection. In rare cases, pregnancies are lost as a result of the mother’s Zika virus. For women who aren’t pregnant and men, Zika’s flu-like symptoms usually only last 1-2 weeks, and confirmation that the symptoms are actually a result of Zika can be concluded with a urine or blood test.

How to Prevent the Zika Virus
Now that you know and understand the most current Zika facts, it’s important to understand what steps can be taken to help protect yourself and your family. The CDC recommends taking measures to prevent mosquito bites, including wearing long sleeve shirts and pants, protecting your baby or child by covering their bed, crib, or outdoor stroller with netting, using mosquito repellent, and “taking steps to control mosquitoes inside and outside your home”. This last tip is where Mosquito Shield can help. Our proprietary formula is sprayed by a professional technician around your property to form a barrier that keeps mosquitoes out – helping you feel safer in and outside of your home, and keeping Zika as far away as possible.

It’s never too soon to take the important steps to help protect your family, so contact Mosquito Shield today to get started.