Imagine: It is a happy time of celebration. It could be a wedding, graduation, church picnic, reunion or a house warming party. There is a single unwanted guest at this joyous event….and we are not talking about obnoxious Uncle Harry. It is a smaller and much more destructive guest. It is a mosquito carrying the Zika virus.
With one tiny mosquito bite during an otherwise joyful event, the life of a family and its unborn child are changed and challenged forever.
Talk about insidious and sneaky! Four out five persons that are bitten and infected by a mosquito carrying the Zika virus will not have a single symptom of the disease. If that victim is pregnant, the very first sign of the virus could be a child born with the lifelong birth defect of microcephaly. This defect results in a child being born with a small, under developed head and brain on a regular sized body.
Birth Defects are forever.
This is not a bad science fiction movie. It is not hype. It is not a fictional media frenzy for ratings. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Pan American Health Organization, and countless other organizations this is a serious pandemic stretching across the world from Africa, to the Pacific Rim, then to South and Central America and now, to the United States.
WHO DOES THIS AFFECT?
“The Zika virus could reach regions of the United States in which 60 percent of the population lives, or some 200 million Americans.” According to The Lancet (a renowned international general medical journal) It can affect not just residents of the affected areas, but tourists and visitors to those areas.
WHAT CAN WE DO TO PROTECT THE ONES WE LOVE?
We must take every possible precaution to interrupt the process of mosquitoes infecting people with the Zika virus.
· Wear light covered, loose fitting clothing that covers as much skin as possible
· Apply insect repellant using safe products and methods
· Remove any items that contain standing water from the area
(such as tires, water buckets, roof gutters, bird baths, etc.)
· Use screens in windows and air conditioning in sealed homes where possible
· Conduct a barrier spray program.
Treating the grounds for a special event like a wedding or pool party may meet your needs. If you have a possible home exposure of a pregnant woman, a barrier spray program may better meet your safety needs. Based on the life cycle of mosquitos, a 14-day cycle may provide the best control and safety.