With a warm climate, multiple water sources and high humidity, South Florida is a mosquito-breeding ground. While South Florida’s residents spray to prevent annoying mosquito bites, there is another reason to control the mosquito population. Starting in 2015, the Zika virus began spreading across the world. Originally found in Uganda, it spread to Brazil in 2015 and caused hundreds of cases of microcephaly. Spread by mosquitoes, Zika has now moved to the United States.
The Center for Disease Control announced in March that over 300 cases of Zika have been confirmed in the United States. In Brazil, thousands of cases of Zika have led to widespread birth defects. Due to the terrifyingly rapid spread of the virus, the World Health Organization has labeled Zika as a global health emergency.
A Rising Danger
Among adults, Zika virus typically causes flu-like symptoms. In Latin America, it has already been linked to Guillain–Barré syndrome. Known for causing paralysis and high fatalities, this syndrome may develop after someone has been infected with Zika. Other than the risks of Guillain–Barré syndrome, Zika is also a cause of microcephaly. This condition causes small, pointed heads and deformities in fetuses if the mother is infected with Zika. In Brazil, a rise of microcephaly cases led to a national health emergency. Due to the climate of South Florida, it is likely that Zika and microcephaly will increase in the coming year.
There is currently no cure or vaccine for Zika virus. The only way to prevent the outbreak is to prevent the mosquito bites that spread the disease. For residents in South Florida, removing water sources and standing water prevents the breeding grounds that allow mosquitoes to reproduce. In addition, spraying for mosquitoes and using a mosquito larvicide can kill the mosquitoes that already exist in the area.
According to the Center for Disease Control, the best ways to prevent mosquito bites and the Zika virus are:
- Regularly applying EPA-approved insect repellent
- Wearing pants and long-sleeved shirts to limit the amount of skin mosquitoes can bite
- Use air-conditioning, door screens and window screens
- Sleeping under a mosquito net
- Apply sunscreen before applying mosquito repellent
- Spray repellent above clothing
- Treat the property for mosquitoes
- Remove standing water
- Place mosquito netting on cribs and strollers
- Treat clothes and gears with permethrin
Once infected, it is important to avoid contact with mosquitoes because it can spread the infection to other people. Zika has also been spread through sexual contact, and it may be spread through blood transfusions. Due to this, avoid donating blood or engaging in sexual contact while infected.
To stop Zika from infecting your home and family, you have to remove the mosquitoes that cause the virus. At MosquitoNix, we use a multiple step approach to treating mosquitoes, evaluating your property and preventing the mosquitoes from breeding. Our experts are experienced at exterminating mosquitoes in South Florida. To remove mosquitoes and prevent the Zika virus, call or e-mail us at MosquitoNix today.