Zika Virus has become the face of mosquito-borne illness. In response to the recent outbreaks of Zika in South America, global awareness efforts have made us more aware and more informed about the virus. Despite prevention recommendations which include travel advisories for anyone traveling to areas where the virus is common, new reports confirm that Zika has hit close to home.
According to a recent report from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, as of December 1st, 2017, there have been 61 confirmed cases of Zika Virus in South Carolina. Although these confirmed cases stem from contraction of the virus from travel abroad, it is crucial to stay aware of the threat of Zika at home and abroad.
Along with being the most trusted mosquito control and prevention company in the greater Charleston and West Ashley areas, we also strive to educate Charleston and Dorchester county residents about mosquito-borne illness. Mosquito Squad of Greater Charleston wants you to be as informed as possible as to what Zika is and its symptoms, as well as how to avoid coming into contact with disease-carrying mosquitoes.
What is Zika Virus?
Zika is a mosquito-borne illness. Humans may become infected by the bite of an infected Aedes Aegypti or Aedes Albopictus (the Asian Tiger) mosquito. Currently, there have been no local transmissions of the virus and all cases in SC are a result of contracting Zika whilst traveling abroad. However, it is suspected that Zika could begin to get transmitted locally. After all, the Asian Tiger mosquito is already prevalent in our region.
An infected human can become a facilitator of the virus to other mosquitoes for approximately 7 – 10 days after first becoming infected. For this reason, it’s important for anyone experiencing Zika symptoms to remain indoors and away from mosquitoes. Otherwise, you risk further spreading the disease via mosquito bites. It’s of the utmost importance those who’ve been exposed to Zika to take extra precautions and follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
The Zika Virus is extremely easily spread and nearly 80% of those infected show no symptoms. This is a dangerous scenario, with a mere 20% of those infected showing symptoms, the likelihood of further spreading of the virus is probable due to simply not knowing one is infected. The symptoms usually experienced by those infected are flu-like in nature and include:
- Muscle Pain
- Joint Pain
- Conjunctivitis (a.k.a. “pink eye”)
The most concerning risk of contracting Zika is highest for pregnant women in their first trimester. Zika virus in pregnant women has been correlated with microcephaly, a prenatal disorder that prevents an infant’s head from growing to its full size. In the beginning, the CDC’s warning was specific to women in their first trimester for that very reason, but because so much is still unknown about Zika, many doctors (and the CDC) are extending travel warnings to all pregnant women out of caution. Additionally, the CDC has issued guidance for travel, prevention, testing, and preconception counseling related to risks for pregnant women and couples considering conception in areas of active Zika virus transmission in the continental US and in Hawaii.
Prevention is Key!
Currently, there is neither a vaccine nor a cure. The only thing you can do is to completely avoid being in an area inundated with mosquitoes which may be carrying this disease. By reducing the number of mosquitoes you come into contact with ultimately reduces your likelihood of contracting Zika.
To find out how Mosquito Squad of Greater Charleston can keep your Charleston-area property mosquito free all season-long, call us today at (843) 574-8919 today or email us.
Owner Brent Tatum and family