In 2015 we began to hear talk of the Zika virus in the United States. It is a mosquito-borne illness but had been brought here by those that travelled to other already affected countries. The things we knew were that it could also be transmitted through sexual contact and from a mother to her unborn child in the womb. While many experience no symptoms, those who do, experience a mild, flu-like illness at best, but the effects on unborn children can be severe. Birth defects and severe brain damage are among the possible outcomes when a pregnant mother is infected with the Zika virus. Yet still, there were no mosquitoes carrying the actual disease in the United States…until now. As of August 6th, the Wynwood neighborhood in Miami Florida is reporting 13 cases of Zika virus transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, confirmed this number in an interview with NPR and urged pregnant women not to travel to this area.
We Are Probably Next
How does the illness suddenly change from being something that is coming into the country via humans to being transmitted by mosquitoes? It’s a simple process really. Humans with the Zika virus can transmit Zika to mosquitoes. Someone brings it into this country, possibly with no idea that they have it, a mosquito bites them and becomes infected. And now it is transmitted by the mosquito. So as the number of infected people goes up, the risk for mosquitoes to become infected goes up. The Post Courier out of Charleston spoke with Robert Yanity, a spokesman for the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control and he spoke of the chance of the virus being transmitted by mosquitoes in our local communities. Local entomologist Dwight Williams told the Post that the chances are “very likely.” There are already 25 cases of Zika reported in SC and 19 in NC, though none from a mosquito bite.
How Do We Take Control?
The vector for Zika is the Aedes aegypti mosquito. These mosquitoes are considered to be very aggressive. They are daytime biters; their eggs hatch in small water filled containers and areas in urban and suburban areas. Over the years it appears that these type of mosquitoes have also become able to survive in drought periods. The CDC believes that this adaptability makes them more difficult to control.
At Mosquito Squad of Wilmington and Mosquito Squad of the Grand Strand, we believe that difficult does not mean impossible. As we continue to keep you informed of the changing information, we remind you that the situation in Miami is serious. If you must travel there, protect yourself. Wear protective clothing and keep your bug repellent handy. If you are pregnant… stay home. Protect your home and neighborhood as well. Remember the 5Ts of mosquito control. Making sure that your home environment is not the type of environment that mosquitoes prefer can go a long way! And call us. Mosquito Squad of Wilmington and Mosquito Squad of the Grand Strand are the number one ranked mosquito control service in this area. Our barrier treatment will eliminate 85-90% of disease-carrying mosquitoes in your yard allowing you to relax and enjoy it with your friends, your family, and any possible new arrivals! Call today.