Date Posted: May 23, 2016
If you follow our blogs, you know that we like to be funny. While bugs and wildlife are certainly a threat to homes and families, we prefer to take a fun and lighthearted approach to getting vital information out. But, there is nothing funny about the threat of Zika virus. This is a virus that can cause microcephaly (reduced head size and brain damage) in unborn children at every stage of pregnancy. One child born with microcephaly is one child too many if you ask us. So, when we saw that the Rhode Island Department of Health announced the first confirmed case of Zika in the state, we were pensive. Here's why.
80% of individuals infected with Zika virus show no symptoms at all. None, which means it is very hard to track when it spreads from person to person.
Many of the 20% of individuals who show signs of Zika may not seek medical attention, which is where the illness is documented.
Zika doesn't only spread from person to person; it can spread by mosquito. While the confirmed case mentioned above was a man who had recently traveled to Haiti and was not infected locally, he and others are conduits for this disease to spread to local mosquito populations.
If mosquitoes are spreading this disease locally, we won't know until perhaps the end of the summer and by then, it will be too late.
There is some confusion as to how big of a threat a Zika outbreak could be in Rhode Island because we don't have widespread populations of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is known to be a vector for Zika. But, this is not the only mosquito species that carries Zika. It can also be spread by the Aedes albopictus, a mosquito species that has been found in Rhode Island and up into Massachusetts.
While the chances of contracting Zika are currently low, and may continue to be low, it is important to take precaution if you are with child. Like we said before, one child born with microcephaly is one child too many. This is a birth defect that can create a lifelong battle for a family.
Mosquito season is between April and October. Fewer mosquitoes breeding and hiding in your yard means less chance of being bitten.
Mosquito abatement is what government agencies employ to prevent mosquito-borne viruses because they know it works, but, municipalities can't get mosquito abatement everywhere it needs to be. It is the responsibility of businesses and homeowners to join in the fight. Be part of the solution that is protecting our state and our country from dangerous mosquito-borne diseases. Get mosquito control services for your property from Big Blue Bug Solutions before Zika has a chance to spread.