There was a point last summer where the media may have had you afraid to go outside due to all the talk of the Zika virus and the dangerous outbreaks occurring. With the talk of people traveling to the Olympics and coming back with it and the effect it could have on newborn babies, how could we not be a little frightened? Oh, and one more thing… it was new. New is always scary. And now suddenly it seems like it’s practically gone. Out of the news entirely. Well, there’s a good reason for that.
Drastic Drop in Florida Zika Cases
In 2016, Florida Health officials reported 1,500 cases of Zika virus in Florida. So far in 2017, the count is up to a mere 140. It appears that this is due to something called “herd immunity”. Dr. Henry Walke, an incident manager for Zika response with the CDC, states that once people have been infected, they will not be infected again. He also says the decline in Zika is true for Puerto Rico, South America, and the Caribbean. Dr. Uriel Kitron, chair of the department of environmental health sciences at Emory University explains herd immunity like this, “If a large enough proportion of the herd – be it cows, mice, or people – are resistant to a disease, it’s very difficult for the disease to spread.” He says that Zika infections are extremely low in Brazil as well. Keep in mind that while Zika can have devastating effects, they have mostly been to babies of mothers who became sick while pregnant. The average human being who contracted Zika, most likely had symptoms similar to a cold if they had any at all. There is likely a large number of people that caught the illness and are now immune with no knowledge of it at all.
Does This Mean the Zika Virus Is Gone?
Matthew Aliota, from the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine, says no. He does believe that future outbreaks will be smaller, but he says that is hard to be sure of. There are many factors that contribute to what is ahead for the Zika virus. Aliota also believes that there will be a vaccine for Zika eventually.
This is certainly promising news, however, Aliota says that he believes if there is a local outbreak of Zika in the US, he expects it to be in Florida and other Gulf regions. So, Zika virus in Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra cannot be entirely forgotten. We must continue our due diligence in protecting ourselves from mosquitoes and mosquito bites.
Continue to follow the Ts of mosquito control and add Mosquito Squad of Greater Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra to your multifaceted mosquito control measures. Our barrier treatment eliminates up to 90% of all mosquitoes on contact and continues to work for up to three weeks. Call us today and let’s get started on making your backyard a safe and fun place for your family and not for mosquitoes.