The virus is an emerging mosquito-borne disease, and the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is urging the public to take immediate precautions to curb problems during the upcoming warmer months when biting mosquito populations increase.
Mosquito-Borne Diseases are Serious
"We recognize that local vector transmission of Zika virus has yet to be confirmed in the continental U.S., but the number of reported travel-related cases continues to increase," said Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. "We are monitoring the situation closely and working to help educate the public on ways to not only avoid contact with mosquitoes when traveling to regions where the disease is present, but also how they can eliminate breeding grounds at home as spring and summer approaches."
While just 20 percent of people infected with the Zika virus experience mild flu-like symptoms, the main concern centers on the possible link between the virus and Microcephaly, a birth defect associated with underdevelopment of the head and brain.
"Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent the Zika virus or medication to directly treat it, so those who experience symptoms should get plenty of rest, stay well hydrated and take acetaminophen for pain," noted Dr. Jorge Parada, an infectious disease specialist and a medical advisor for NPMA. "The best way to avoid contracting Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases is to take preventive measures when spending time outdoors."
Mosquito Prevention Tips
The following mosquito prevention tips have been suggested by the NPMA:
- The type of mosquito that carries Zika virus bites during the daytime hours, so take steps to protect your skin at all times of the day by applying an insect repellant containing at least 20% DEET, Picaridin or oil of lemon-eucalyptus. For additional protection, consider wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes.
- If traveling outside of the country be aware of travel advisories currently in effect. Mosquito-borne diseases that may be rare in the U.S. are common in many foreign countries. If a person becomes ill after returning home, seek prompt medical attention.
- Eliminate areas of standing water around your home and yard. Places like flowerpots, birdbaths, baby pools and grill covers are breeding grounds for mosquitoes. They need only about a half an inch of water to breed so anyplace where water can pool up is a prime location for them. Be sure to screen all windows and doors, and patch up even the smallest tear.
If you have concerns about mosquito activity, contact us at Bug-N-A-Rug Exterminators. We can take additional eradication measures to ensure your home and property are free of mosquitoes as well as their eggs.