Should Zika Virus Have Maryland Residents Worried?
If you've been watching the news, then you are well aware that Zika virus is scary. This is a virus that can cause congenital birth defects in unborn children at all stages of pregnancy. You may also know that it has finally made its way into local mosquito populations in the United States. Several counties in Florida have reported cases of local transmission, with Miami-Dade county being hit the hardest. While numbers are just starting to come in, this is a new development that has health officials on high alert. Here's what this means for Maryland residents.
As of Aug 3, 2016, 54 Cases of Zika have been found in Maryland; but as with most of the rest of the U.S., these cases are isolated to travelers who have been to other countries where Zika is spread locally. It has not yet gotten into our local mosquito populations, but there are several factors that have health officials in the state worried.
Maryland has both mosquitoes that are known to spread Zika, the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus species of mosquito.
Maryland is on the east coast. It is no longer threatened by air travel alone. People from Florida making a trip up the east coast on I-95 can go from Miami to Maryland by car, bus, or train.
80% of people who get Zika have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, so they aren't likely to visit a hospital where their infection will be tracked; and they aren't likely to stay where they are until the virus leaves their system because they don't know they have Zika.
Zika virus hit Brazil in 2015. In just one year it infected over 1 million people.
These are sobering facts and the CDC says mosquito control is the key.
Avoid bites by avoiding areas where mosquitoes are most active. Wear a repellent with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535. Wear long sleeves and a shirt when possible.
Reduce areas of standing water in your yard, no matter how small. These are attractive to mosquitoes and give them a place to breed.
If you live in our Maryland service area, we can help you make sure your property is resistant to mosquitoes and destroy any living mosquitoes that are currently present. We also offer a seasonal mosquito and tick program that will aggressively work to make your yard hostile to these biting pests.
Protect your family and friends from mosquito-borne viruses by taking part in the solution that has been protecting our country for decades. Get mosquito reduction services and help to keep America safe.
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