The Zika virus is causing a lot of fear right now, and for good reason. This virus is directly linked to microcephaly, a birth defect that stops the growth of an infant’s brain. It’s a lifelong condition that can include complications such as significant brain damage, delayed motor and speech functions, seizures, and other brain-related problems. And, with high profile news stories about Olympians being concerned about exposure to this virus when traveling to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, it is no wonder tensions are high. While we should always be concerned about mosquitoes in Knoxville, Tennessee, the immediate Zika virus threat should be considered minimal. Of course, the threat level could change at any moment.
Here are some things you can do to reduce the risk for you and your baby:
- The greatest danger for Zika right now is travel. If you are with a child, it is not wise to take a trip to a country where Zika is known to be spreading. Cases of Zika in the United States are currently limited to those who have recently returned from a trip abroad.
- This virus has not yet begun to spread through native mosquito populations. When spring comes, it is extremely important to watch news reports to see if these changes because a mosquito that bites someone infected with the Zika virus can transmit it to those who do not have the virus.
- Standard mosquito prevention is needed to reduce risk. Use repellents that have DEET. Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when possible. Avoid dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
- Mosquitoes breed in water. By reducing standing water sources in your yard, you can help to reduce the mosquito population in your community. Make sure you do not have obstructed gutters. Apply fill to areas in your yard that collect water. Remove objects in your yard that collect water.
- One of the reasons the United States has a significantly lower rate of Malaria cases is due to proactive mosquito abatement practices. This applies to the Zika virus as well. If you have a professional perform mosquito abatement, you can reduce your risk and the risk of others in your community. Together, we can make our country safer.
At Russell’s Pest Control, we are proud to have one of the most effective and comprehensive mosquito abatement programs available for homes and businesses here in Tennessee. We know where these insects breed and where they hide. If you have questions about how you can help to protect yourself and your community from mosquito-spread viruses like Zika, give us a call at 865-584-8549, or fill out our contact form and one of our representatives will contact you shortly.