The Zika virus has been in the news a lot lately, and it's normal to feel concerned. The disease can be a lot less concerning if you are informed on some of the facts. Here are five things you need to know about the virus.
1. It's spread by mosquitoes
The Zika virus is spread by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. These mosquitoes are found throughout the state of Georgia, as well as other states across the South and Southeast. People who are bitten by infected mosquitoes can become ill.
2. It's usually mild
The disease caused by the virus is usually mild according to the World Health Organization (WHO). It leads to symptoms like muscle and joint pain, headaches, fever and skin rashes. These can last for two to seven days. Treatment typically involves drinking plenty of fluids, getting rest and taking medications to control pain and fever.
3. It's serious for pregnant women
If a pregnant woman contracts the virus, the virus can spread to her developing fetus. This has been linked to birth defects—like microcephaly—and neurological disorders. Due to this risk, pregnant women should take additional precautions to avoid mosquito bites, like using insect repellant and not traveling to areas where Zika is spreading.
4. Georgia has no locally-acquired cases
As of September 7, 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there have been 75 cases of Zika here in Georgia. All of those cases were associated with travel, and at this point, there haven't been any locally-acquired cases of Zika in Georgia. Locally-acquired cases have occurred in Southern Florida, but it's hard to predict if the same thing will happen in Georgia in the future.
5. There's no vaccine
Currently, there isn't a vaccine available for this virus, so the key way to prevent it is to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes. Fortunately, there are many ways you can protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites.
The Georgia Department of Public Health explains that getting rid of the standing water that mosquitoes need to breed is one of the best ways to protect yourself.
Try to avoid going outdoors during times of peak mosquito activity—between dusk and dawn—and cover up with long-sleeved shirts and long pants when you do head outside. Protect your exposed skin with an insect repellent that's approved by the EPA.
The threat of Zika is scary, but it's not being spread by Georgia mosquitoes at this time. To give yourself some peace of mind—and to avoid those itchy bites we all hate—get rid of standing water around your home and cover up when you head outdoors.
After it rains, head outdoors and tip out any water that's collected in places like your wheelbarrows, planters or kid's toys. In addition, call Breda Pest Management to apply a product to the surfaces that mosquitoes rest on to help control them.
If you happen to need mosquito extermination services, don't hesitate to contact us today!