Zika Virus – A mosquito borne illness. Viking® Pest Control, a member of National Pest Control Association, would like to share* some concerns over Zika virus. This illness is an emerging mosquito-borne disease and it continues to grow. The public is urged to take precautions now to help curb problems during the warmer months when biting mosquito populations tend to increase. Viking will update our web site as more current and relevant information becomes available.
Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for NPMA states: “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.” “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.”
Zika virus causes mild flu-like symptoms in about 20 percent of infected people, but the main concern among leading health organizations centers on a possible link between the virus and microcephaly, a birth defect associated with underdevelopment of the head and brain. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently declared Zika virus a global health emergency.
“Currently, there is no medication to treat Zika virus, so those who experience symptoms should get plenty of rest, stay well hydrated and take acetaminophen for pain,” noted Dr. Jorge Parada, medical advisor for NPMA and infectious disease specialist. “The best way to avoid contracting Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases is to take preventive measures when spending time outdoors.”
The following are suggestions for mosquito prevention tips:
- The type of Aedes mosquito that carries Zika virus is a daytime biter, so people should take steps to protect their skin from mosquito bites at all times of the day by applying an insect repellant containing at least 20% DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon-eucalyptus. Also, consider wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes.
- Mosquito-borne diseases that may be rare in the U.S. are common in many foreign countries, so anyone traveling outside of the country should be aware of travel advisories currently in effect. If a person falls ill upon returning home, seek prompt medical attention.
- Homeowners should eliminate areas of standing water around the property such as flowerpots, birdbaths, baby pools and grill covers. Mosquitoes need only about a half an inch of water to breed. It’s also recommended to screen all windows and doors, and patch up even the smallest tear. If you have concerns about mosquito activity, contact Viking Pest Control and ask about our Yard Guard Program. William A. Kolbe, Board Certified Entomologist and Viking Technical Director states: “Our Yard Guard Program helps reduce populations of biting mosquitoes. Just as important is our inspection of your property as well as recommendations you can make to eliminate breeding sites. While impossible to eliminate all mosquitoes, our program will reduce populations of adult mosquitoes. Our program does not guarantee that you will never be bitten by mosquitoes since they can fly in from neighboring yards and properties. Our goal is to reduce populations and help you eliminate areas where mosquitoes breed. Our program does offer a reduction in the numbers of mosquitoes and thus reduces your chances of being bitten. Personal protection such as the use of DEET (recommended by the Center for Disease Control) will also help reduce mosquito bites. Follow us at www.vikingpest.com or facebook to keep abreast of Zika virus.
- Some information courtesy of National Pest Management Association