If you've been following the Zika virus, then you are probably aware that local cases of the virus are now being reported in Florida. This can feel like alarming news, after all, Zika virus can cause microcephaly in unborn children at any stage of pregnancy. So, we have put together this quick fact sheet for folks who live in our Missouri service area. Hopefully, it will help you to determine a course of action that is best for you and your family.
Zika Fact Sheet For Missouri Residents
All cases of Zika virus reported in Missouri have been travel-related. As of this writing, there have been no reports of Zika in residents who have not traveled to other countries where Zika virus is locally transmitted.
Zika can be spread sexually and by mosquito bite.
The CDC has put out a travel advisory for several countries where Zika is locally transmitted by mosquitoes. This list has been updated to include counties in the state of Florida. As of this writing, 38 cases of localized Zika have been reported in Miami-Dade country, 2 in Palm Beach county, and 1 in Pinellas county.
If you would like up to date numbers for localized Zika, the Miami Herald offers a helpful webpage. It can be found here.
80% of those who contract the Zika virus show little or no symptoms. For this reason, Zika is able to spread fast.
In May of 2015, Zika virus was reported in Brazil. Since then, it has spread to 35 countries in South and Central America and has infected millions of people.
U.S. travel-related cases of Zika first appeared in early 2016.
It is important to understand that not all mosquitoes carry the Zika virus. There are only two mosquito species in the United States that are known to carry it. They are Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus.
Populations of Aedes albopictus can be found throughout the state of Missouri, but they are less likely to carry Zika. Aedes aegypti are found in the south and west of the state. The CDC offers a helpful map here.
Not all Aedes aegypti and albopictus carry the virus. These mosquitoes are not born with the virus. They contract bacterium from infected humans.
The chances contracting Zika virus can be reduced by avoiding areas where Zika is being spread locally, implementing personal mosquito protection, and reducing mosquito breeding areas around your home.
Studies show that Zika virus only stays in the system for 6 weeks. After this time it is safe to conceive. But, consult your doctor to assure the safety of your unborn child.
Only you can decide how much of a threat Zika may be. If you need assistance reducing mosquitoes and mosquito breeding sites on your Missouri property, the team here at Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions is ready to help.