It began in spring. Stories of a new mosquito virus that causes microcephaly in unborn children was front page news. Why? Because it had finally reached the continental United States. This scary virus that has been linked to over a million local Zika cases in Brazil in just under a year, made health officials here in the U.S. very nervous.
Now, Zika is in the news again. Local cases have started showing up in Florida. But what does it mean when a virus become localized? Let’s take a look at how Zika spreads, and what precautions you can take to keep it from hurting you or your family.
What is localization? Localization is when a virus spreads to local mosquito populations, and cases of local transmission start to appear. If this were a virus with a high mortality rate, it would have been labeled an “outbreak,” and drastic quarantine measures would have been put in place. But for anyone who is not pregnant, this virus is most often little more than an irritant, so it will most likely be addressed with a gentler protocol.
How does Zika spread? There are only two mosquito species that spread Zika virus in the United States and both of these mosquitoes live in South Carolina. They are the Aedes aegypti and the Aedes albopictus. Zika can also be spread through sexual contact with a partner so that means the best way to prevent the spread is to prevent mosquito bites and practice abstinence.
Now that Zika is local in Florida, state and national health agencies will be watching it closely. They will, most likely, continue to put out warnings of where local cases are showing up, and will continue to advise residents to take precautions. Here are some of the precautions they suggest.
- Do not travel to areas where Zika is localized. If you must travel, talk to a doctor or healthcare provider first.
- If your sex partner travels to an area with Zika, use protection to prevent the spread of this disease.
- If you live in or travel to, an area where Zika is local, then take steps to reduce mosquito bites. Apply a repellent with DEET, Picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when possible. And treat clothing with permethrin.
- Take steps to control mosquitoes inside and outside your home.
Zika is here, and this is not a virus that will be quarantined to Florida. Take the precautions the CDC suggests and if you need help protecting your home from mosquitoes in South Carolina, Spencer Pest Services has the most advanced mosquito services available in the industry. Give us a call and get your protection in place today.