The Zika Virus: Dangers and Protections

Mosquitos transmit diseases, such as malaria and yellow fever, all around the world, and each year about one million people die from them. No matter where they begin, these diseases may cause problems thousands of miles away. Such is the case with the so-called Zika Virus, first identified in the African country of Uganda in 1947. By 2015, the virus was attacking the South American country of Brazil, with a reported 1.3 million cases. Two years later, Zika arrived in the United States, striking areas around Miami, Florida, and Brownsville, Texas.

Growing Concerns

Initially, the Zika Virus was not regarded as much more to be feared than any other such disease. Skin rash, mild fever, muscle pain, and headache, common with many mosquito-transmitted illnesses, were reported to bring the greatest discomfort. In most cases, these symptoms last about 2-7 days. However, more time and more research brought more concerns about Zika. Reports from Brazil in July 2015 noted an association between the infection and Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare disease that causes muscle weakness and, in some cases, paralysis. In October 2015, Brazil reported a possible link between Zika and microcephaly, a birth effect that results in a head that is smaller than normal size and may cause seizures and balance problems. Because of such reports, which indicate that the virus can be transmitted through sexual intercourse, men and women in areas where the Zika Virus is reported are urged to become knowledgeable about the possible risks. Besides sexual transmission, the virus may result from blood transfusions or exposure in laboratories.

The Zika Virus is mainly transmitted by the Aedes mosquito, which is found in warm and some temperate regions across the United States. Doctors in these areas have been urged to report suspected cases, especially when they involve pregnant women. More frequent and effective spraying has also been urged in many areas.

Zika Virus Protection

There is one way to avoid contacting the Zika Virus: avoid mosquito bites. But how to do that? People who live in areas where the virus is reported or people who drive through such places should protect themselves against mosquito bites. Protection might include:

* light-colored clothing that covers much of the body
* keeping windows and doors closed
* using repellents such as DEET

For those who live in the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, area, the Mosquito Squad of Myrtle Beach offers even greater protection. It comes in the form of sprays that can decrease the surrounding mosquito population by as much as 90%. If you have any concerns about mosquito invasion, make a call for a free consultation and learn to live without the fear of the Zika Virus.

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