As a family travel blogger, Zika is a subject that has been coming up quite a bit lately across my social media channels. People are even canceling pre-planned vacations because of it. Today I wanted to shed some light on who should be most concerned about it – article courtesy of Rove Pest Control.
What is the Zika Virus?
The Zika virus is a disease that Aedes mosquitoes carry, which may cause some symptoms similar to allergies, the common cold, and the flu. For this reason, it is almost always misdiagnosed or undiagnosed since many people never seek out any medical attention. The virus does run its course after a few weeks and leaves your system, however it can prove to be more dangerous if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant within two weeks of interacting with a Zika bearing mosquito.
As you may know, the Zika virus has been shown to cause some birth defects. These birth defects mainly consist of microcephaly (a smaller than usual head). A small percentage of these babies have a smaller head, but sadly, most of them end up suffering from brain damage, as well. If you are pregnant or expect to become pregnant it is important to keep yourself safe from this virus.
Where the Zika Virus Comes From
The Zika virus has its highest concentration of cases in South America. And as you may know, there has even been some concern from Olympic athletes regarding the virus. We’ve also heard about Zika in the US, as well. The number of cases is much lower here in the US, and are usually found in individuals who have travelled out of the country but reside in the US.
The mosquitos that carry the virus tend to come from more tropical regions around the world. The virus is also transferred from sexual contact from an infected person, as well as through the blood. You should avoid sexual contact with anyone suspected of coming in contact with the virus and should avoid any blood transfusions from people in the higher concentrated areas of the virus.
Steps You Can Take to Keep You and Your Family Safe
The best thing you can do to avoid the Zika virus is to prevent mosquitoes from hanging out around your home. If you are going to be in a mosquito infested area, be sure to wear long sleeved clothing if you can, as well as apply an EPA recommended mosquito repellent. It’s also wise to stay under bug nets as much as possible.
Around your home you can do the same as mentioned above, as well as remove potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes. The first thing you will need to do is eliminate any forms of standing water around your home. This could be in the form of outdoor water dishes for pets, water filled flower pots after a rain storm, and even your pool. Keep in mind the source of stagnant water does not have to be large or obvious. Something as small as a bottle cap or pools of water in a storm drain are potential culprits, too.
Treat and clean all pools or dump them out regularly if they happen to be a small kiddy pool. Mosquitoes find stagnant water and lay their eggs in it. You should also look into having a pest control service treat around your home. They can offer everything from adult mosquito removal services as well as help you prevent new batches of mosquitoes form hatching around your home. If you are in the greater Minnesota metro area, be sure to reach out to the pest control experts at Rove Pest Control.