You may be asking yourself if the mosquito-borne Zika virus is a threat in Louisville this year. While last year it was all over the news, this year you haven’t heard much, if at all. While no news is usually good news, that is not always the case, so we thought we’d give you an update.
The Zika Virus in the United States
Starting with the current Zika numbers: last year in the U.S., the CDC reported 224 probable locally-transmitted Zika cases and 4,830 travel-related Zika cases. This year, the CDC has logged only 200 travel-related cases and just one locally acquired case of Zika virus in Texas. So yea, the no news is good news rings true in this case.
Why Did Zika Cases Decline Rapidly?
One of the most interesting points about Zika virus is that it is mostly asymptomatic. Only 1 out of 5 people with Zika will know they have the virus. And once you have Zika, your body builds immunity so you can’t get it again. These two facts have made the speed at which rates of Zika cases declined much quicker than expected.
Known as herd immunity, once a large enough percentage of a population has built immunity after infection, the rates plummet as the disease becomes difficult to spread. While there can still be instances of the case, with so few being susceptible to infection, it can dead-end at each new infection that much easier.
More Good Zika News
While the number of known Zika cases in the United States would not statistically be enough to create herd immunity, the immunity in Brazil and the Caribbean comes into play. With Zika having been an epidemic for over two years, large percentages of the population in these locations have already been infected and cannot be infected again. This low rate of infection has protected the United States from potential spread through travel. With fewer Zika infected people entering the United States, the possibility for mosquitoes to become infected and spread the disease is much lower.
While we often share with you some scary mosquito-borne news, we are pleased to offer such great news about a disease that has been so devastating for so many families. If you’re looking to control mosquitoes at your property, give us a call today.