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Update: The Zika Virus and You

July 7, 2016

Despite efforts from numerous government agencies and health organizations, including the CDC, the Zika virus has continued to spread. It now reaches well into the United states including Ohio. In light of the virus now residing in our backyard, Scherzinger Pest Control thought it was high time for a refresher course on the Zika virus.

In February 2016, Scherzinger Pest Control released an article, Answers to Your Questions about the Zika Virus, meant to educate individuals about the Zika virus and how to protect themselves. At the time, the virus was still a hypothetical danger to most of us. The only individuals that really had to be concerned were those traveling to exotic locals like South America. Unfortunately, the threat is no longer remote.

There are now 21 confirmed cases of the Zika virus in Ohio, including one in Cincinnati (Dykes, 2016).

The Zika virus can be transmitted in a variety of modes, making it tricky to control. It can spread through:

  • Mosquito bites
  • Pregnancy (from mother to child)
  • Sexual contact (with an infected male)

The Zika Virus, transmitted by mosquitoes, has been reported in Cincinnati, Ohio

The fact that the mosquito (Aedes aegypti) that is the most common carrier of Zika is not native to the Cincinnati area won’t stop the virus from establishing a foothold here. WLWT reports:

“For interim Health Director Dr. O'Dell Owens and Englender, the bigger concern right now involves people who travel far south and then return to Greater Cincinnati, like the city's first confirmed case of the virus.

If a local mosquito, the Aedes albopictus for example, bites someone who comes back from a trip infected with Zika, the virus can then spread through that local mosquito.

Another danger of the Zika virus is that an individual may not realize he or she has it. According to the CDC:

”The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected.”

Symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Red eyes

Unfortunately, Dr. O’Dell Owens says, “80 percent of people who have Zika don't experience symptoms at all,” (Dykes, 2016). People that don’t know they’re infected may be more likely to spread the virus.

One of the best ways to protect yourself and your loved ones from Zika is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Obviously, this is no small feat but it can be done. Here are some tips:

  • Wear insect repellent when heading outside.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants outside when possible.
  • Make sure all window screens are secure if you have the windows in your home open.
  • Be aware of peak mosquito times and avoid the outdoors. Most mosquitoes are primarily active from dusk to dawn.
  • Remove standing water, no matter how small, from your property as it can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Check out the Ohio Department of Health website for more tips and resources. And if you have a serious mosquito problem, contact a professional like Scherzinger Pest Control to come out and address the issue.

Scherzinger Pest Control is a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We've been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or through our website, Facebook, or Twitter.

Authored By: Eric Scherzinger

Quality ProNational Pest Management AssociationOPMABetter Business Bureau Angies List Super Service Award

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