Mosquite-borne virus Zika surfaced in South Florida
by: Davis Yancy Clegg
First discovered in Ugandan in 1947, the Zika virus has surfaced right here in Florida. There is currently a neighborhood in Miami where it has been confirmed that mosquitoes are spreading the virus. Zika virus disease is caused by the Ziska virus, which is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito (Aides Aegyptus and Aides albolite’s). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting up to a week, and many people do not have symptoms or will have only mild symptoms. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly and other severe brain defects. Zika is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aides species mosquito (Aides Aegyptus and Aides albolite’s). A pregnant woman can pass Ziska to her fetus during pregnancy or around the time of birth. Also, a man with Zika can pass it to sex partners.
Symptoms that are indicative of the Zika virus are noticeable and familiar pests. Conjunctivitis, fever, rash, and joint pain are a the most common reported. Zika is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected. Symptoms of Zika are similar to other viruses spread through mosquito bites, like dengue and chikungunya. Ziska virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for about a week. See your doctor or other healthcare provider if you develop symptoms and you live in or have recently traveled to an area with Zika. Your doctor or other healthcare provider may order blood tests to look for Zika or other similar viruses like dengue or chikungunya. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.
In a time of year when travel is at its’ peak, those travelling on the railways and friendly skies need to know a few things before takeoff. Travelers who go to places with Zika can be infected with Zika, and CDC has issued travel notices for people traveling to those areas. Many people will have mild or no symptoms. However, Zika can cause microcephaly and other severe birth defects. For this reason, pregnant women should not travel to any area with Zika, and women trying to get pregnant should talk to their doctors before traveling or before their male partner’s travel. It is especially important that women who wish to delay or avoid pregnancy consistently use the most effective method of birth control that they are able to use. Those traveling to areas with Zika should take steps during and after they travel to prevent mosquito bites and sexual transmission of Zika.
It is all too often that we take certain luxuries for granted, like living in a place where disease doesn’t take over our streets. Now, look at the horror that families in southern Florida are dealing with today. Be sure to use your EPA approved insect repellents and take the appropriate measures to keep you and yours safe and away from Zika.
Our local Mosquito control makes sure these bugs are not going out of hand.
We usually don’t see many mosquitoes on the water so how about joining us for an outing! (more…)