Is Zika Still a Threat?

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Zika was one of the top topics in the news in 2016 but once colder months returned it all but disappeared from the headlines. With hot days back again is Zika still a threat? Here is a quick update on if the virus is still spreading and how to protect yourself.

The news media has primarily focused on Zika’s presence in Brazil and Latin America but between November 2016 and January 2017 some 4,000 new cases were reported in just the U.S. and its territories. Every state in the continental U.S. has reported at least one case of Zika but Florida and Texas are the only states that have suffered outbreaks. An outbreak means that the virus was transmitted through local mosquitoes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida is no longer an active Transmission zone, and although the city of Brownsville in Texas is still under a travel-advisory the rest of Texas is Zika-free.

In Latin America they are reporting lower case numbers this season, suggesting that mosquito-control efforts are working. Although cases are becoming less it is still important to be cautious. The World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control are still urging people to be very careful about traveling to countries where infections have been reported.

Protecting yourself from Zika
As of now there is not a vaccine for Zika. Symptoms mimic that of the flu and if contracted patients should drink plenty of fluids and rest. Avoid traveling to affected areas, especially if you are pregnant or trying to conceive. If you are traveling to affected areas be sure to wear insect repellent that has been registered with the Environmental Protection Agency. Wearing long pants and shirts is also recommended.

At home remove standing water in the yard and around the home. Keep your yard fresh of trash and standing water is particularly important because Aedes mosquitoes which transmit Zika thrive in human habitats. They can breed in just a bottle cap’s worth of water. If you have a mosquito problem, contact Natran and we can help eliminate the problem with routine mosquito fogs or a mosquito misting system.