The Zika Virus: How To Protect Yourself
You may have heard the buzz about the Zika virus. A recent arrival in the Western Hemisphere, Zika passes between mosquitoes and the people they bite. You may wonder whether Zika is a threat in the Atlanta region. And, if so, what can you do to protect yourself?
Zika Is An International Concern
Zika originated in tropical and subtropical Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. Last year, it hit South and Central America and Mexico. The World Health Organization on February 1 declared Zika virus a public health emergency of international concern and said it likely will spread to new areas.
Bringing The Zika Virus Home
Recently, Americans, bitten by infected mosquitoes while abroad, began bringing Zika home. As of February 24, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 107 travel-associated cases in the U.S. More are expected. The CDC has confirmed several cases of Zika virus among people in the U.S. The virus, which can be transmitted via unprotected sex, can pass from mother to baby. In some cases, Zika causes severe birth defects. The bottom line is, the type of mosquitoes that carry Zika, of the genus Aedes, currently live in the southeastern U.S., including the Atlanta area. Mosquitoes can become infected by biting a person who carries the virus, too.
Protecting Yourself From The Zika Virus: Quick Facts
- Control mosquitoes and eliminate mosquito breeding grounds—standing water, tires, flower pots, buckets, etc.
- Avoid traveling to places where Zika is spreading, especially if you are pregnant.
- Protect yourself against sexually transmitted diseases.
- Use insect repellant. If traveling abroad, buy repellant before you depart. It may not be readily available at your destination.
- Wear long-sleeved tops and long pants to minimize exposed skin.
- Use air conditioning or window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out.
- Stay indoors during peak feeding time for mosquitoes—dawn, dusk and early evening.
- Visit the CDC website for the latest information about Zika.
For safe, effective mosquito control, call Tuxedo Mosquito Control, the leading mosquito control company in the Atlanta area. Our family-operated business uses biodegradable pyrethrum-based insecticides, which leave no dangerous residue like synthetic compounds can.