Zika Virus: What We Know

Mosquitoes can drive you crazy with their buzzing and biting whenever you try to enjoy the great outdoors, but the health risks that they present make mosquitoes far more than a simple nuisance. These unpleasant insects have long been known to spread a nasty assortment of serious illnesses that include malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever and West Nile virus. As if that isn’t enough, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has now identified a serious new threat that is carried by mosquitoes called Zika.

Mosquitoes Spread Zika Virus

While many mosquito-borne illnesses aren’t normally seen in America, this new Zika virus is already making Americans sick. It has been reported in several states, and it’s important to know that the Zika virus can infect people in every state that has a mosquito population. The virus originally arrived in the states from those who became infected in other countries, but it can also be spread when an infected person is bit by a mosquito that goes on to bite another person.

Risks Associated With Zika Virus

For healthy adults, a bite from an infected mosquito may do no more than give you a week of feeling miserable. You can expect symptoms that include fever, muscle aches, joint pain, conjunctivitis, rash and headache. Babies and very young children, the elderly and those with a compromised immune system may experience a worsening of these symptoms and require medical attention.

Health Alert for Pregnant Women

Unborn babies are at the greatest risk of being harmed by the Zika virus. Infected mothers who have no symptoms can still pass the virus along to their unborn child, and it can have devastating effects on a developing fetus. The CDC is currently exploring the link between the virus and the incidence of both miscarriage and various birth defects. Several children born to infected mothers have suffered from a defect of the brain called microcephaly, which causes an abnormally small head due to a lack of brain development. This may also result in blindness, hearing impairment and retardation.

Protect Yourself and Your Unborn Child

There is absolutely no vaccine available at this time to prevent the transmission of the Zika virus, so it’s important that you take every step possible to protect yourself and your unborn child. Avoid traveling to areas that are suffering from a major outbreak of the virus, and take all necessary precautions to avoid being bitten by a mosquito. Use insect repellent on your body, wear long sleeves and pants and keep your home shut up tight. The best way to protect yourself at home is to take measures to ensure that mosquito breeding grounds are completely eliminated from your property.

Help is Available

Those in South Shore, Cape Cod, the south coast regions and all of Southeastern Massachusetts know how bad the mosquitoes can be in this area, and it’s essential that their breeding grounds be destroyed. You can start by removing any standing water on your property, and a good mosquito control company is available to ensure that mosquitoes are eliminated from your immediate area.