Zika Virus Disease

Symptoms & Prevention

News about Zika virus in the United States and around the world is spreading rapidly along with a concern for safety. It is more important than ever to understand the facts, preventative steps you can take to protect yourself and your family, and what role mosquito control services can play. News like this can be overwhelming and scary, but with help from the CDC, The Turf Doctor Lawn & Pest Services is here to help.

What is Zika Virus disease?
Zika is a disease caused by the Zika virus that is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito of the Aedes species.

What are the symptoms of Zika?
About one in five people infected with Zika will get sick. For people who get sick, the illness is usually mild; so many people might not realize they have been infected. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Symptoms typically begin 2 to 7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

How is Zika transmitted?
Zika is primarily transmitted through the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes. It can also be transmitted from a pregnant mother to her baby during pregnancy or around the time of birth, and has recently been found to be sexually transmittable as well. Although not proven, Zika virus is thought to link to microcephaly, a condition that causes severe disfiguration in newborns.

Who is at risk of being infected?
Anyone who is living in or traveling to an area where Zika virus is found who has not already been infected with Zika virus is at risk for infection, including pregnant women.

Where is Zika Virus located?
Over 1.5 million cases have been discovered in South and Central America where Zika virus is most active. Although no cases have originated in the United States, several cases of Zika virus in travelers have been confirmed in states such as Texas, New York, New Jersey, and Florida.

What is the treatment for Zika?
There is no vaccine or specific medicine to treat Zika virus. You should see your doctor immediately if you feel you’ve contracted the disease. The recommended action is to treat the symptoms, which means getting plenty of rest, drinking TONS of fluids, taking standard over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen if you have a fever and avoiding non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin. If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication.

What can I do to prevent it?

While there is no cure for the Zika virus, avoiding mosquitoes is the best course of action for a strong defense. Here are some tips you should use in order to reduce the amount of mosquitos in your area:

  • Eliminate any sources of standing water, including outdoor containers such as flowerpots, tires or children’s toys
  • Unblock drains and gutters
  • Watch for low areas under decks or throughout yard where rainwater may collect
  • Avoid accumulating garbage or extra yard-clippings
  • Screen windows and doors
  • Use mosquito repellant and reapply as directed
  • Wear protective clothing such as long pants and long sleeves
  • Limit outdoor exposure. Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus bite mostly during the daytime.
  • Enlist a professional mosquito control service around your home

Zika Resource Center

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) serves as your best resource for learning more about the Zika virus. Since Zika doesn’t currently have a cure, the best option to defend against it is knowledge. The more you can learn about Zika, the more prepared you can be. If you’re planning on traveling, be sure to look ahead and see if the location you’re going has had any cases of Zika by checking here.

The National Pest Management Association runs the website PestWorld.org, an online resource that educates about the risks associated with pests like mosquitos. A recent article on their site details the most important information about Zika and mosquitos.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has put together a Zika fact sheet that provides all the details you need about the virus, like signs and symptoms, ways the virus transmits and preventative measures.

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