It’s been two years since that word was plastered over every newsstand. You may think that it went as quickly as it came, but for some, it will never be a part of the past.
I’m sure you remember most of the details, but here’s a refresher course. The variety of mosquitoes called Aedes aegypti carry the Zika virus. It spread quickly in a short amount of time in 2015 and 2016, especially in Brazil.
People react very differently to Zika. The symptoms can be practically nonexistent for some and like a terrible flu for others. It can be transferred from mosquito to human, from human to human, and from human to mosquito. Humans transfer the disease to one another through blood transfusions, sex, and even from mother to unborn child. It is these experiences, of babies born from mothers with Zika, that we are still watching in wonder.
Here is one family’s story of life after Zika, as told to USA Today.
Growing Up with Microcephaly
Darah Giron Funes was born with microcephaly, one of the birth defects caused when Zika infects a child in the womb. At two-years-old Darah smiles and laughs. She is learning to roll over. These are only the milestones of a 3-month-old, but they are the milestones that give her parents hope. Christian and Claudia have uprooted their life and their family to live in New Jersey instead of their home in Honduras so that Darah can receive the care and constant therapy that they believe she needs to live as much of a normal life as she can. That is one of the true issues of the birth defects that Zika can cause in newborn children: no one truly knows what the future holds for them.
We are watching it play out. As the first baby born in the continental US with birth defects from the Zika virus we have only seen what the first 2 years are like. There are 280 other babies in the United States and thousands across South and Central America dealing every day with the birth defects that Zika causes, but it exists in many varying degrees. There are other children too, that scientists wonder if, though now not showing signs, might have issues down the road with cognizance and development. The Giron Funes family spends hours a day with doctors and therapists, even more working with Darah on their own. Money is a constant need to keep up her therapy and there are hopes of trial therapies in the future. One mosquito bite has changed their entire lives and will stay with them forever.
Zika Virus is Still Out There
The World Health Organization no longer lists Zika as a “public health emergency of international concern” but its effects will be with us for years to come. And it does still exist even if not in epidemic proportion. Darah’s mother was barely sick at all when she had Zika. She thought he had a reaction to a cleaning product. And yet it’s affected her child for life.
At Mosquito Squad of South Central Texas, we emphasize the importance of getting ahead of the problems that mosquitoes can cause. Our barrier spray will eliminate 85-90% of mosquitoes on contact and continue to work for up to three weeks. However, if you are pregnant you may want to consider some extra precautions. Upgrade to our platinum service and we will spray every two weeks.
Another option is our mosquito misting systems, daily timed automatic sprays for constant protection against mosquitoes and the diseases that mosquitoes can carry. Not sure what option is best for you? Call (830) 254-5176 today and we will figure it out together. Protect your family not just from day one, but from before they are even born.