Zika Virus: Questions & Answers | Allgood Pest Solutions
There is a lot of fear right now over the threat of Zika virus in the United States, and justifiably so. This is a virus that has been proven to cause microcephaly in unborn children at all stages of development. It is also a virus that has spread at an alarming rate through Brazil and other South American countries. So we’ve asked our on-staff entomologist, Glen Ramsey, to address some of the questions we’ve been getting.
“Is the mosquito that transmits Zika found in the U.S.?”
Glen Ramsey: Yes. There are currently two mosquitoes in the U.S. that have the potential to transmit the Zika virus. Both of these are in the genus Aedes and both species exist throughout the southeastern United States, west all the way to Georgia and Tennessee, and north to Connecticut and possibly farther.
“Is Zika a new virus?”
Glen Ramsey: This virus is not new at all. The first recordings of Zika virus date back to 1947 with the first human case reported in 1952. Small outbreaks have been noted but have been located in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Prior to 2007, 14 or so cases had been reported, but many more were suspected. The symptoms of Zika are similar to other diseases, and some cases were likely not reported.
“Why are we just now hearing about Zika?”
Glen Ramsey: It has come into more recent news because of the first confirmed case reported in Brazil in May of 2015. With evidence of local transmission and the mosquitoes in place, concerns grew rapidly for locations that have the mosquito vector already established.
“How can I protect myself from Zika and other mosquito-borne illnesses?”
Glen Ramsey: The best way to protect yourself from mosquito vectored disease is to prevent mosquito bites. Wear long sleeve shirts and long pants and use repellents. Repellents of choice should be registered with the EPA and contain one of the following ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-3,8-diol. These have been tested for effectiveness and are considered safe when used as directed. Pregnant women should seek the advice of their doctors to determine which repellents to use safely.
“Are there pest control programs available to prevent mosquitoes?”
Glen Ramsey: While no program is going to completely eliminate all mosquitoes or chances for disease, mosquito reduction programs offered by established pest management companies can assist in reducing mosquitoes in your environment.
“Is mosquito abatement safe and effective?”
Glen Ramsey: If you choose a reputable service provider that makes specific assessments and targeted applications for mosquito reduction, then treatments are both safe and effective. It is critical that you ensure that your company of choice is registered to properly and safely perform mosquito management services.
We hope these answers helped you to better understand Zika virus and gave you actionable information to protect yourself and your family.
Zika Virus: Questions & Answers | Allgood Pest Solutions in Atlanta & Knoxville Metros and Surrounding Areas
Serving Clients in Atlanta GA and Knoxville TN