Have you noticed the absence of Zika virus talk in the news this year? Without the Olympics taking place in an affected country, the news cycle seems to be finding the Zika virus unworthy of their attention, whereas this time last year it was everywhere. Does the lack of coverage mean Zika virus is no longer a threat? Unfortunately not.
There is a great bit of Zika news coming out of Florida, where they are currently seeing local transmission, especially in South Florida. Around the world, the virus is still affecting thousands of people in the Caribbean, South America, Mexico, Central America, the Pacific Islands, Asia, and Africa. With 30-40 cases of Zika virus reported in pregnant women, in the United States, each week, right now, if you are traveling, it is recommended to keep a close eye on the CDC’s Zika travel guide.
Zika Virus Continues to Be A Significant Threat to Babies
In a report released by NPR we are learning the statistics of how the Zika virus affected Americans in 2016. Specifically pregnant women and their babies.
- 1,300 confirmed Zika virus cases in pregnant women in the United States in 2016.
- 77 pregnancies were lost.
- 51 babies were born with defects. (43 with microcephaly or other brain abnormalities, 8 with eye abnormalities or neural tube defects).
- There is a 5% risk of severe birth defects in the babies of pregnant women infected with Zika virus.
- There is a 15% risk of severe birth defects in babies of pregnant women infected with Zika virus in the first trimester.
The CDC is continuing to study the babies of the infected mothers to learn whether or not there could be future neurological symptoms for those who currently appear to have been born without effect.
At Mosquito Squad, we urge you to follow the CDC’s advice to avoid traveling to affected countries while pregnant. Here at home, it is also important to protect yourself from dangerous mosquito bites. While Zika virus is not currently transmitted here, and the experts say it is unlikely, travelers could potentially unknowingly bring Zika home with them. Call today for a free quote to for the best mosquito control available. Our barrier treatment eliminates up to 90% of mosquitoes from your property.