It’s a terrifying new pandemic and Mosquitoes are spreading the Zika Virus that is linked to birth defects. Although the possibility of an out break is remote according to leading experts, NJ may still be affected by this horrible virus as it has been now linked to spread by mosquitoes and sexual contact. Mosquito Control in New Jersey is now even more important than ever. Act now and schedule your Mosquito Control Services with Action Termite and Pest Control. We are determined to make NJ’s Environment Safe!
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ZIKA
WHAT IS ZIKA?
The Zika (ZEE’-ka) virus was first discovered in monkey in Uganda in 1947 – its name comes from the Zika forest where it was first discovered.
It is native mainly to tropical Africa, with outbreaks in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands.
It appeared in Brazil in 2014 and has since been reported in many Latin American countries and Caribbean islands.
HOW IS IT SPREAD?
It is typically transmitted through bites from the same kind of mosquitoes – Aedes aegypti – that can spread other tropical diseases, like dengue fever, chikungunya and yellow fever.
It is not known to spread from person to person.
Though rare, scientists have found Zika can be transmitted sexually. The World Health Organisation recently warned the mode of transmission is ‘more common than previously assumed’.
And, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued first-time guidance, saying couples trying to conceive should abstain or wear condoms for six months if the male has confirmed or suspected Zika.
Additionally, the CDC said couples should abstain or wear condoms for eight weeks if the female has confirmed or suspected Zika, or if the male traveled to a country with a Zika outbreak but has no symptoms.
During the current outbreak, the first case of sexually transmitted Zika was reported in Texas, at the beginning of February.
The patient became infected after sexual contact with a partner diagnosed with the virus after travelling to an affected region.
Now, health officials in the US are investigating more than a dozen possible cases of Zika in people thought to be infected during sex.
There are also reported cases in France and Canada.
Prior to this outbreak, scientists reported examples of sexual transmission of Zika in 2008.
A researcher from Colorado, who caught the virus overseas, is thought to have infected his wife, on returning home.
And records show the virus was found in the semen of a man in Tahiti.
So far, each case of sexual transmission of Zika involves transmission from an infected man to his partner. There is no current evidence that women can pass on the virus through sexual contact.
The World Health Organization says Zika is rapidly spreading in the Americas because it is new to the region, people aren’t immune to it, and the Aedes aegypti mosquito that carries it is just about everywhere – including along the southern United States.
Canada and Chile are the only places without this mosquito.
ARE THERE SYMPTOMS?
The majority of people infected with Zika virus will not experience symptoms.
Those that do, usually develop mild symptoms – fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes – which usually last no more than a week.
There is no specific treatment for the virus and there is currently no vaccine to protect against infection, though several are in the developmental stages.
WHY IS IT A CONCERN NOW?
In Brazil, there has been mounting evidence linking Zika infection in pregnant women to a rare birth defect called microcephaly, in which a newborn’s head is smaller than normal and the brain may not have developed properly.
Brazilian health officials last October noticed a spike in cases of microcephaly in tandem with the Zika outbreak.
The country said it has confirmed more than 860 cases of microcephaly – and that it considers them to be related to Zika infections in the mother.
Brazil is also investigating more than 4,200 additional suspected cases of microcephaly.
However, Brazilian health officials said they had ruled out 1,471 suspected cases in the week ending March 19.
Although Zika has not been conclusively proven to cause microcephaly, the World Health Organization has said that there is a ‘strong scientific consensus’ that it does.
The WHO also stated that researchers are now convinced that Zika is responsible for increased reports of a nerve condition called Guillain-Barre that can cause paralysis.
A team of Purdue University scientists recently revealed a molecular map of the Zika virus, which shows important structural features that may help scientists craft the first treatments to tackle the disease.
The map details vital differences on a key protein that may explain why Zika attacks nerve cells – while other viruses in the same family, such as dengue, Yellow Fever and West Nile, do not.
CAN THE SPREAD BE STOPPED?
Individuals can protect themselves from mosquito bites by using insect repellents, and wearing long sleeves and long pants – especially during daylight, when the mosquitoes tend to be most active, health officials say.
Eliminating breeding spots and controlling mosquito populations can help prevent the spread of the virus.
WILL THE ZIKA OUTBREAK SPREAD TO THE US?
Yes, leading global health experts expect the virus to appear in the US in the coming months.
As the temperature begins to rise across the country, the mosquito is likely to become abundant across much of the southern and eastern US.
The National Center for Atmospheric Research determined the Zika virus risk estimates for 50 US cities.
Call 1-800-920-0906 today to schedule your Mosquito Control Service now.
Experts Urge Caution as Zika Virus Spreads
The National Pest Management Association advises the public to take action against mosquitoes now to avoid problems later
FAIRFAX, Va. (February 5, 2016) – As concern over Zika virus, an emerging mosquito-borne disease, continues to grow, theNational Pest Management Association (NPMA) is urging the public to take precautions now to help curb problems during the warmer months when biting mosquito populations tend to increase.
“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,” said Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “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 NPMA suggests the following 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 there are concerns about mosquito activity, contact a licensed pest control company or the local mosquito abatement district.
U.S. health officials are reporting new cases of a mosquito-borne virus linked to birth defects.
Three cases of the Zika virus have been confirmed in Florida, and two pregnant women tested positive in Illinois. Texas and Hawaii also have confirmed cases, including a baby born with a birth defect.
The growing cases at home are traced back to overseas, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a travel alert over the virus, warning pregnant women to avoid some of the most popular American vacation destinations, reports Elaine Quijano of CBS News’ digital network, CBSN.
In the handful of confirmed cases in the U.S., those infected traveled outside of the country and tested positive once they got home.
The Zika virus is caused by the Aedes mosquito. It’s been determined women can pass the virus to their babies, causing birth defects.
The CDC’s warning to pregnant women is clear: If you have the symptoms, see a doctor and get tested for an infection.
All of the Zika cases in the U.S. involve foreign travel. The Florida victims traveled to Colombia and Venezuela and the two pregnant women in Illinois visited Central America and the Caribbean. A Texas man was also diagnosed after he returned from El Salvador in November.
“The two cases that we have in Illinois are in individuals who traveled and came back and were diagnosed,” said Nirav Shah of the Illinois Department of Public Health. “Because the mosquito that transmits it is not one that we have here in Illinois, we believe the risk to Illinoisans is virtually zero.”
The CDC has named 14 countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico, Mexico and Haiti and are advising pregnant women to avoid travel there.
Brazil is claiming thousands of babies have been born with brain injuries. Officials there are urging women – who can wait – to hold off on becoming pregnant until the crisis is under control.
In less than 200 days, Brazil is set to host millions for the 2016 Olympics. There is no vaccine and no course of treatment for the Zika virus.
A British biotech firm is trying to crack the virus by genetically modifying the insect.