What You Need to Know About Zika Virus
As awareness of the Zika virus increases across the U.S., public concern is growing about this
vector-borne illness. While we are not experts in the virus itself, we are experts in effective mosquito
control and support efforts to educate the public on both Zika virus and how to reduce mosquito
activity. Tthe following is some basic information about Zika, how to best protect yourself from contact with mosquitoes, and resources for up-to-date information on the virus.
What is Zika Virus Disease?
Zika is a disease caused by the Zika virus, spread primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes
mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they bite a person already infected with the virus.
Common symptoms of the disease include fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis.
Doctors hypothesize it can be transmitted from a pregnant mother to her baby during pregnancy or
around the time of birth, and it has recently been reported to be sexually transmittable as well.
Although not proven, Zika virus is thought to be linked to microcephaly, a condition that causes
severe disfiguration in newborns, and potentially Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS).
What is the treatment for Zika?
For people who get sick from Zika, the illness is usually mild and symptoms disappear within a week.
However, there is no vaccine or specific medicine to treat Zika virus at this time. You should see your
doctor immediately if you feel you've contracted the disease.
Where is Zika Virus located?
Over 1.5 million cases have been discovered in South and Central America, where Zika virus is most
active. If you are planning to travel, reference the CDC travel alerts for current areas of concern.
Although no cases have been reported to have originated from mosquito bites in the U.S., there have been 9 cases of Ohioans acquiring Zika, all of which have been from traveling outside of the U.S. Anyone who is living in or traveling to an area where Zika virus is found who has not already been infected with Zika virus is at risk for infection, including pregnant women.
What can I do to prevent Zika?
The best protection against Zika is protection against mosquito bites. Professional mosquito control
services such as the barrier treatments offer the best protection around your home. In addition to this line of defense, you should eliminate breeding areas in your yard to keep mosquitoes from reproducing. Consider the following:
• Unblock drains and gutters.
• Avoid accumulating garbage.
• Avoid allowing standing water to accumulate in any outdoor container.
• Screen windows and doors.
• Use mosquito repellant and wear protective clothing (long sleeves and long pants).
Resources for More Information
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - http://www.cdc.gov/zika/
• World Health Organization (WHO) - http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/zika/en/
- Ohio Department of Health - http://www.odh.ohio.gov/zika
For more information about Mosquito Joe's services, which include barrier treatments, please visit www.suburbancleveland.mosquitojoe.com or call 440-467-2060.
Dan Nicastro is a franchise owner of Mosquito Joe, a pest control service. He resides in Avon Lake.