The Zika virus has now spread to the U.S. and there is currently no vaccine to prevent it. According to the UnitedHealthcare Global’s most recent update on the status of the virus, 75 percent of those affected with the virus will not show symptoms. However, the virus is of particular danger to pregnant women who can pass it on to their unborn child with devastating consequences.
What is the Zika Virus?
The Zika virus is a viral infection carried by the Aedes mosquito. When an infected mosquito bites it leaves the virus in its victim. It was discovered in 1947 in Uganda in certain rhesus monkeys. It was first reported in humans in 1952 in Tanzania and Uganda. Zika is a Flavivirus, which is the same type of virus that causes Japanese encephalitis, West Nile Virus, Yellow Fever, and Dengue Fever. It has reportedly been transmitted from pregnant women to their unborn children and, more recently, via blood transfusion and sexual contact.
Symptoms of Zika Virus
Symptoms of the virus include headache, rash, lethargy, fever, red eyes, and muscle or joint pain. These symptoms usually appear 2-12 days after being infected; however, most infected people don’t have any symptoms. Although a causal link hasn’t yet been established, there is a confirmed association between the Zika virus and specific problems in pregnant women. Infected pregnant women and women who may become pregnant can experience miscarriage or deliver a child with microcephaly, an abnormality in the brain.
Preventing Zika Virus
- Mosquitoes tend to bite during dawn and dusk so avoid being outside at these times.
- Cover up: Wear long pants and sleeves, use insect repellents, employ mosquito nets where appropriate, and take precautions during sexual contact.
- Don’t leave doors and windows open. Keep screen doors closed and use air conditioning if available.
- Because mosquitoes breed where water collects, remove containers where water can pool such as flower pots, tires, decorative vases, buckets, and small swimming pools.
- Consult with a pest control expert for more information on how to eradicate mosquito breeding sites.
EnviroCon Pest Control can help you eradicate mosquitoes safely and effectively in the Houston area. Contact us for more information, today.
UnitedHealthcare Global, Inc. (2016). ZIKA VIRUS INFECTION: OVERVIEW AND STATUS UPDATE FEBRUARY 2016.