It’s all over the news. Every day there is a new story about Zika, yet so much has changed since we first began to talk about it. For example what was once considered a “link” between Zika and Microcephaly has now become a proven fact with new links between Zika and Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Guillain-Barre affects the muscles and has been caused by different viral infections. It causes muscles to weaken and can become severe enough to affect breathing or cause temporary paralysis. This information will surely evolve as well, as more research is done. We are dedicated keeping you updated as this happens so that you are educated in the best ways to protect your family.
Zika is a virus spread to humans through mosquito bites. Primarily transmitted through the bite of an infected Aedes Aegypti and Aedes Albopictus (Asian Tiger) mosquito, which are the same mosquitoes that transmit dengue & chikungunya viruses. These species are aggressive daytime feeders, along with their typical nighttime feeding, making them especially dangerous disease vectors. The Asian Tiger Mosquito has been present in Minnesota in the past, and with 31 reported cases of Zika in Minnesota, there is a risk here.
The mosquitoes become infected from biting a person who is infected. If you are diagnosed with Zika, you should avoid exposure to mosquitoes for the first week to avoid infecting more mosquitoes. Zika can be transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy and childbirth. According to the CDC it is also transmitted through blood transfusions and sexual contact, There is 1 instance in the United States where Zika was transmitted via laboratory exposure.
Only about 1 in 5 people who are infected will show symptoms of Zika illness. Symptoms vary but can include rash, fever, joint pain, conjunctivitis (pink eye), muscle pain and headache. Lasting several days to a week, symptoms are usually mild.
There is no vaccination or specific treatments for Zika Virus. Treatment includes managing symptoms, getting plenty of rest, plenty of fluids and using over the counter acetaminophen (always check with your doctor before taking new medicines) to relieve symptoms. If you think you have Zika see your doctor to be tested.
Now that we know pregnant women with Zika can give birth to babies with microcephaly the CDC is recommending pregnant women take extra precautions to avoid mosquito bites, especially if traveling to one of the countries that fall under the Zika travel notice. The current list includes Cape Verde, the Caribbean, Central America, Singapore, the Pacific Islands & South America.
Microcephaly is a birth defect that causes a baby’s head to be smaller than expected in comparison to other babies of the same age & gender. This usually results in smaller improperly developed brains. It can occur with no other major defects or it can be in combination with other major birth defects. Microcephaly can cause babies to have a variety of other problems depending on the severity. Some of these other complications can include seizures, intellectual disability, developmental delay, balance and movement problems, feeding problems, hearing loss or vision loss. These complications can be anywhere from mild to severe, are many times lifelong and can even be life-threatening.
With the news being fluid, you probably are hearing something new every day about Zika. Just last month Zika was found to be transmitted to humans from local mosquitoes in Florida. Other than 1 sexually transmitted case all of US cases were travel-related up until this point. As of August 24th there are 29 cases of Zika acquired by a local bite in Florida. Brazil has suffered the largest outbreak. There are no vaccines and no treatments, so the best defense, for now, is avoiding mosquito bites. Follow us on Facebook for the latest information as we keep up with the news.
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 Metropolitan mosquito control we can lower your exposure to mosquito bites even further.
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