The Zika Virus: What is it and What Can I do to Prevent it?

                                                   Fighting the Zika Virus

Zika Virus Facts
- The Zika Virus is a flavivirus, part of the same family as yellow fever, West Nile, chikungunya and dengue.
- The CDC is asking OB-GYNs to review fetal ultrasounds and do maternal testing for any pregnant woman who has traveled to any country where Zika is active.
- Symptoms of the virus include: Fever, headache, rash and possible pink eye.
- Symptoms are so mild that 80% of the people who have it do not even know they are infected. Which makes it a lot more difficult to contain.
- Last month, the World Health orginization stated that the virus is spreading so rapidly that the expect between 3 - 4 million people to be infected by it within the next 12 months.
- We know that the virus is spread primarily through bites from the aedes aegypti mosquito, though the aedes albopictus mosquito is also capable of spreading the virus. Which is should concerns the us in the United States because it has a larger footprint.
- Brazilian doctors say they have seen around 4,000 cases of suspected microcephaly since last fall, a huge surge considering that they reported 147 cases total in 2014. Many suspect that there is a link between the Zika outbreak and the rise in cases of microcephaly.

    If you watch or read the news chances are you have heard about the newest virus that the media is force feeding us: The Zika Virus. After last year’s Ebola scare, many people are apprehensive about trusting potential “outbreaks” but where with Ebola we knew what it was and had plans ready to prevent the spread, the Zika Virus is shrouded in the unknown. Yes, the virus has been around since 1947, but in that time there was no major research put into it and we are unprepared to fight this rapidly spreading. We know that the virus is spread primarily through bites from the aedes aegypti mosquito, though the aedes albopictus mosquito is also capable of spreading the virus (this    is of particular concern in the United States, where the aedes albopictus has a far larger geographic footprint). 

The Problems

The infection appears to be linked to microcephaly, a rare neurological condition which leaves children with unusually small heads. In many cases of microcephaly, the child's brain may not develop properly. Because of this the Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have urged pregnant women against travel to about   two dozen countries. What is so scary about the virus is that symptoms are very mild and about 80% of the people who contract the virus do not even know they have it. This causes huge risks for pregnant woman who may have been infected by it without even realizing it.

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Should we really be concerned?

In my honest opinion I feel like (especially during our “warm” seasons) we should be taking precautions to prevent the spread of this virus. It is continuing t

o spread rapidly even though the response time in taking steps to manage it was faster than that of the Ebola outbreak. We do not have efficient strategies in place to contain the virus because (most importantly) there is no vaccine to treat it or to prevent against it. Are main objective is trying to kill all the mosquitos, prevent travel and tell women not to get pregnant. These plans willprove ineffective, because as someone in the pest control field can tell you, it is very unlikely to kill EVERY mosquito unless every city in every country is treated. Plus the virus can be transmitted sexually as well as through blood transfusions.

How can we stay ahead of it?

  Be cautious of it, especially if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant. Contact a TRUSTED pest control company to perform a mosquito treatment on your property. This will created a mosquito-free barrier around your house for around 30 days. In the case of Arrow Environmental, our mosquito program includes a free inspection to check for areas that mosquitos are most likely to nest on your property and our suggestions on how to fix them. When you leave the house, dress in as many clothes as possible which will limit target areas of exposed skins for mosquitos to feed on. Apply bug/mosquito repellent to any areas of your body that are exposed. If you do have someone come to your home to treat for mosquitoes, do not be afraid to ask questions and make sure you are getting what you paid for, big corporations may not have your best interest at heart.

I hope we can stop this virus from spreading before it gets worse but I feel we should be prepared to face what lies ahead. One of our founding beliefs at Arrow Environmental is that it is always better to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. I am hope everyone has a safe mosquito season and if you are interested in Arrow Environmental’s Mosquito Prevention Program click the link below



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