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Zika Virus & Fall River Mosquito Control

You’ve probably been hearing about the Zika Virus in the news since it caught the world’s attention in February 2016. Almost daily a report comes out about the new developments, locations and world response to the outbreak. With such a fluid story, we decided to provide you with the basics of Zika and what you can do to help protect your family.

The Latest on Zika

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), (as of August 17, 2016) there have been 2,246 cases of travel-related Zika in the United States. That includes 59 in Massachusetts. There have also been 14 cases of locally acquired Zika Virus, all in the state of Florida. Puerto Rico remains the most affected U.S. territory with 7,855 cases of local transmitted Zika Virus. It is important to stick with the CDC to stay up-to-date on where Zika is currently being transmitted.

The largest Zika outbreak and the cause for worldwide attention is in Brazil, where they have suffered an increase in Zika cases and Microcephaly in infants. While a “link” to microcephaly in infants is what caught the world’s attention, that link has now been confirmed. Along with an increased risk for microcephaly if infected with Zika while pregnant, there is a myriad of other birth defects that can occur. From eye defects and hearing loss to impaired growth, scientist are still studying the full range of possible Zika birth defects. Follow our blog for the latest information as we keep up with the news.

In addition to Zika causing serious birth defects, it has also been linked to a condition called Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Guillain-Barre is very rare and caused by a variety of viral infections. Symptoms of Guillain-Barre can include weakness in the arms and legs. This weakness can become so severe that it affects the muscles that control breathing. In the worst cases, temporary paralysis can occur.

What is the Zika Virus?

An arbovirus, Zika is most often transmitted to humans by the bites of infected mosquitoes. The Aedes Aegypti and Aedes Albopictus (Asian Tiger) mosquitoes are the primary vectors, the same mosquitoes that spread chikungunya & dengue viruses. Aggressive daytime feeders, these two mosquito species are especially dangers disease vectors. The Asian Tiger is a mosquito found in Massachusetts while the Aedes Aegypti is found in warmer climates, including the Southeast United States. Zika Virus can be transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy and childbirth. According to the CDC it has also been reported to be transmitted through blood transfusions, laboratory exposure and sexual contact.

Zika can be spread to mosquitoes from an infected human. During the first week of illness from Zika, you should avoid exposure to mosquitoes to limit the spread of the disease locally.

Symptoms of Zika Virus

Only about 20% of people infected with the Zika virus will show symptoms of Zika illness. Symptoms vary but can include conjunctivitis (pink eye), rash, fever, joint pain, muscle pain and headache. Symptoms are usually mild and last several days to a week.

Treatment for Zika Virus

Managing symptoms is the only way to deal with Zika illness. There are specific treatments or vaccines for Zika Virus. If you think you have Zika see your doctor to be tested and to get advice on how to best manage your specific symptoms.

Pregnancy & Zika

The Zika Virus is asymptomatic for 80% of those infected. For many who get sick it is no worse than a mild flu. But for pregnant women or women thinking of becoming pregnant, the Zika Virus is a serious danger. The CDC recommends pregnant women take extra precautions to avoid mosquito bites, especially if traveling to one of the areas that fall under the Zika travel notice. which includes Cape Verde, the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, the Pacific Islands, South America and now parts of Miami, Florida.

Be sure to check the list when you are ready to travel for the latest updates. It is also imperative that you follow the CDC’s web page about Zika and pregnancy. The CDC provides valuable information for you and your partner if pregnant or trying to become pregnant. With an asymptomatic virus in the mix, it is important to avoid follow advised precautions to avoid transmitting the virus to a pregnant or soon to be pregnant woman.

What is Microcephaly?

Microcephaly is a birth defect that results in a baby’s head being smaller than expected in comparison to other babies of the same gender & age. Typically microcephaly results in smaller improperly developed brains. Microcephaly can occur in combination with other major birth defects or as a stand-alone imperfection.

Other problems that can occur in conjunction with microcephaly can include seizures, intellectual disability, developmental delay, balance and movement problems, feeding problems, hearing loss or vision loss. These complications can range from mild to severe, are often lifelong and can even be life-threatening.

Preventing Zika at Home

Eliminating mosquitoes in your own yard is the best protection for your family. With our traditional barrier spray, we can lower your yard’s mosquito population by 85-90%. With your help in following the 5T’s of Fall River mosquito control we can lower your exposure to mosquito bites even further.

Call today for a quote or to sign up for mosquito control in Fall River 508-536-4855

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