According to the local Houston news stations, this last hurrah of winter is finally behind us. Temperatures are making a strong surge towards the low to mid-’70sonce again and Rodeo Houston is in full swing. Yes, spring is finally here, there is one thing every Houston pest control company is sure of mosquitoes are coming.
The return to warm weather and the end of the hard freezes that have put mosquito larvae into a hibernation. Makes perfect conditions for a slew of new mosquitoes to feed and breed all over Houston.
The Threat of Disease With Mosquitoes
When most people think about mosquitoes, they immediately think of those annoying bites and trying not to scratch or pick at them, right? Mosquitoes, however, pose much more of a problem than bites and itchy skin— they bring disease too, some which can be fatal.
You may have heard that mosquitoes are the largest carrier of the disease known as Malaria. But recent developments in epidemiology another mosquito borne disease has been added to their repertoire— Zika virus.
The Lowdown On Zika Virus
The World Health Organization declared the Zika virus a global health emergency some time ago. Since then, there has been many discussions, studies, and debate son this relatively mysterious and unknown disease. Chances are you might even be asking yourself, “What is Zika, and how can I treat it?”
The good news is, you’ve come to the right Houston pest control company to answer all your questions. We want our customers to be informed for their own safety and awareness. Read on to find out all you need to know about the Zika virus and how to prevent it.
What Is The Zika Virus?
The Zika virus is a relatively mild mosquito-borne virus mainly spread by the Aedes species of mosquito and has been responsible for outbreaks on four different continents.
The symptoms typically are mild as mentioned—most people recover within a week. When there were large outbreaks a few years ago it was discovered that there could be a potential for autoimmune and neurological problems in some cases.
How Is Zika Transmitted
Zika virus is mainly transmitted via a bite from an infected mosquito, specifically, one in the Aedes genus. The mosquitoes themselves become infected by biting a person who is infected with Zika. Once infected the mosquito spreads the virus easily to others and it can create widespread outbreaks.
In humans,the virus can be transmitted also from mother to child. The CDC has found that if a mother is infected close to her delivery, the newborn child can be infected as well, however,no there are no reports of transmission via breastfeeding.
Sexual contact, as well as blood transfusions, are also reported methods of transmission which is why the CDC has further pushed for continued contraceptive use, and stricter control measures in medical facilities performing blood drawsor transfusions.
Zika spread to other countries such as the US through infected people traveling abroad. People often travel to worldwide Zika hotspots with high infection rates, acquire the disease, and then unwittingly bring it back to their country of origin.
The Aedes Mosquito
This particular genus of mosquito was initially found only in tropical or subtropical climate zones. However,due to global trade and normal climaticcycles in the atmosphere, this breed of mosquito is found on every continent except Antarctica.
The Aedes genus of mosquito is easily defined by its unique black and white markings on their body and legs. Quite active and usually operating during the daytime, it is usually the females who bite as with all mosquitoes and they are often most active in early morning and just before dusk.
Mosquitoes of the Aedes genus are known carriers of many diseases such as yellow fever, West Nile virus, dengue fever and many more in addition to Zika. The two main species within the genus that are responsible for most Zika infections are Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus.
History Of The Zika Virus
Zika was first discovered in Uganda in 1947 while monitoring a network of sylvatic yellow fever in rhesus monkeys within the region. Just one year later the first human case of Zika infection was reported and the virus was mainly isolated to Africa and Asia until 2007.
That year, a major outbreak in Yap, Micronesiasaw the first time Zika was detected outside of Asia and Africa. Before this outbreak, only 15 confirmed incidents of human infection had been recorded. Those numbers would only grow in quantity and geographical spread over the coming years.
With possibly the largest outbreak of Zika to hit a geographical area, in 2013, French Polynesia saw a whopping 11% of its population become infected with the Zika virus. It later spread further and further with more and more cases and outbreaks showing up in countries such as Mexico, Jamaica, and then ultimately the US, where Houston pest control companies battle a high number of Zika infected mosquitoes every day.
Symptoms Of Zika Virus
The WHO states that even though the incubation period for Zika is not definite. It is believed to be only a few days at most. Typically, 1 in 5 persons infected with Zika actually become ill and exhibit symptoms similar to other mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue and can last for about a week.
Common symptoms of Zika virus are:
- Skin Rash
- Muscle and joint paint
Treatment For Zika
Since there is not a vaccine available for Zika and because the symptoms are relatively mild. Generic treatments as for any virus are usually the most effective such as:
- Get plenty of rest.
- Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
- Take common medicines such as Advil and Aspirin to relieve fever and pain.
- If the symptoms worsen or don’t dissipate after a week, then you should seek medical care and advice.
How You Can Prevent Zika Infection
Preventing Zika is as simple as following the same protocols for prevention of mosquitoes and infestations:
- When camping or sleeping outdoors use a mosquito net
- Apply and use insect repellant when outdoors
- Wear long sleeves and pants
- Keep plants and bushes around your home trimmed short
- Remove all standing water around the house and inside (flower vases etc.)
- Circulate air throughout the home regularly with fans
The Best Option For Mosquito Control In Houston
If you really want to get ahead of the mosquito season in Houston and protect yourself against Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases, you need to call Champions Pest Control. We are the Houston pest control company that delivers on our promise and rids your home of unwanted pests and dangerous insects.
Contact us today, our pest control technicians can help you with scheduled service plans, advice on pest-proofingyour property, and innovative solutions to eliminate mosquitoes, flies and other warm-weatherinsects from infiltrating your home.