We’ve heard through the grapevine that we are NOT at risk for Zika Virus here in Tewksbury, Sudbury and the rest of Central Massachusetts. While the risk is low, there is still a risk. While the Zika Virus is not currently active in the area, there is a mosquito capable of being infected with Zika living here. If an infected patient brings the Zika Virus to Central Mass from abroad, it could be transmitted to our local mosquito population. Currently, there have been ten confirmed cases of travel-related Zika in Massachusetts.
THE ASIAN TIGER MOSQUITO TRANSMITS ZIKA
While it has long been suspected, it was recently confirmed that the Aedes Albopictus (Asian Tiger) Mosquito can become infected with the Zika Virus. We have reported a great deal of information about the Asian Tiger mosquito as they are an especially aggressive daytime feeder with a more painful bite and a penchant for living near humans as a container breeder. Thriving and reproducing easily in small amounts of water in old tires, bottle caps, buckets and barrels, the Asian Tiger mosquito is especially threatening to suburban and urban areas.
ZIKA INCUBATION PERIOD
When a person becomes infected with a virus, there is an incubation period. This is the period between being infected and when signs and symptoms manifest. The Zika Virus incubation period is between 3-12 days. It is entirely possible for a vacationer or business traveler to become infected while abroad and arrive home before symptoms appear. This creates a window of time for a Zika infected patient to unknowingly transmit the virus to the local Asian Tiger mosquito population by simply enjoying time in the great outdoors. If that does happen, we’ll find out soon enough if a Zika infected Asian Tiger mosquito is an effective vector of Zika Virus.
It is important for each of us to do our part in limiting the growth of the Asian Tiger mosquito population in Tewksbury and Sudbury by making sure our yards are not full of mosquito breeding habitats. Follow the 5Ts of mosquito control for keeping your yard as free of these water sources as possible.
For additional protection visit our website to learn more about Tewksbury mosquito control and Sudbury mosquito control for your property. Call today to sign up for season-long mosquito protection from Mosquito Squad of Leominster. We look forward to protecting your property this season and for many seasons to come.