Everyone Is Talking About Zika

Everyone Is Talking About Zika

There is a new virus on the block and it has everyone talking. That’s how it goes. When something new happens, it is big news. But when it keeps happening, we move on and start talking about something else. For instance, we all know that crimes happen all across the country every single day. But we don’t hear about the vast majority of them. Nor would we want to. It would get exhausting. The same things are true with mosquito viruses. People get horribly sick and even die, from mosquito-borne diseases each year. But it happens so frequently, it is no longer reported. So, I guess we should thank Zika for getting people to talk about how dangerous mosquitoes can be, again.

In the war against mosquitoes, we are actually winning. Do you know that mosquitoes are directly connected to over 3 million deaths worldwide every year? But we have considerably fewer deaths in the United States. This is due to several reasons: high standard of sanitation, an effective and accessible health care system, widespread mosquito abatement, and more. When compared to the countries around us, there is a stark contrast in the impact mosquitoes have. But that can change.

The Zika virus hit Brazil in 2015. In only one year it has affected millions of people. That is a staggering statistic. This is a virus that can spread quickly. But here in the United States, it has not spread to local mosquito populations yet. All current cases of Zika virus are travel related. Unfortunately, this is not the case for other viruses, such as encephalitis, that travels from animals to mosquitoes and back again. Viruses like West Nile, dengue, yellow fever, eastern equine encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, Western equine encephalitis, and LaCrosse encephalitis, are here to stay. All of these viruses use animals and mosquitoes to incubate into an infectious disease, and all of these are characterized by a swelling of the brain. These can be very uncomfortable viruses to contract, and many of them produce joint pain, body aches, flu-like symptoms, and can lead to death.

So it is a good idea that Zika has everyone talking. This virus isn’t spreading locally yet. But since it has everyone talking, it has renewed the resolve of many municipalities, businesses, and homeowners to get mosquito services, which naturally work to prevent the spread of all infectious diseases that use mosquitoes as a vector.

If you would like to be part of the solution that is protecting our families from all of the many mosquito diseases that are currently spread in local mosquito populations, and help to reduce the threat of an outbreak of Zika, malaria, and other non-local viruses, reach out to us today and start the conversation.

Zika Awareness

Zika Awareness

By now, you have no doubt heard of the Zika virus threat. This mosquito-borne virus has captured headlines because of its ability to cause microcephaly in unborn children, a birth defect that is characterized by small head size and brain damage. While there are several mosquito-borne viruses that are capable of causing death, Zika is even more frightening because it can lead to lifelong suffering for an entire family. That is why it is important to understand exactly how much of a threat this virus can be here in Tennessee.

What you need to know about Zika in Tennessee.

  • There are two mosquito species in the United States that are able to carry the Zika virus; they are the Aedes aegypti and the Aedes albopictus. Both of these mosquito species can be commonly found throughout Tennessee.

  • Zika is not yet known to be spreading through local mosquito populations in Tennessee.

  • Zika has been found in the state, but only in travelers who have returned from countries where Zika is spread locally. For this reason, the first course of action the Tennessee Department of Health has taken is to issue a warning to pregnant women traveling abroad.

  • 80% of those infected with Zika show no symptoms at all. This makes Zika hard to track. If it does become a locally spread outbreak, it may take time for health authorities to detect it.

  • There is no known vaccine to prevent Zika virus and no specific medical treatment for those who have been infected.

  • Mosquito bites can be deterred. Avoid going out in the morning or evening when mosquitoes are most active. Wear long sleeves and pants if possible. Apply a mosquito repellent with DEET or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Make sure all of the screens on your home are in good working condition. When outside on your deck or near the pool, consider using a large fan to create an artificial breeze that will deter mosquitoes.

  • Mosquito control services are known to buffer the spread of mosquito-borne viruses.

States and local government agencies across the country use mosquito control as the first line of defense against the spread of mosquito-borne viruses like Zika; but this solution is incomplete without the assistance of businesses and homeowners. Consider instituting mosquito control on your property. Together we can protect our communities and our families from dangerous and potentially life-changing viruses, like Zika. One baby born with microcephaly is one baby too many.

At Russell’s Pest Control, we provide the most comprehensive and effective mosquito services available in Tennessee. Find out how our team can help you be part of the solution that is keeping America safe.

Zika And Expecting Mothers

Zika And Expecting Mothers

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.