If you’re not concerned about the Zika virus, you should be. Zika is transmitted in several ways, and you or someone in your family could become infected even in your own backyard.

As of January 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had confirmed 60 travel-related cases of Zika statewide. Thirteen of those were in Charleston.

Educating yourself about the virus and taking steps to prevent it could make all the difference in your family’s health.

How Is Zika Transmitted?

The virus is primarily spread to humans by certain mosquitoes. In our state, yellow fever mosquitoes and Asian tiger mosquitoes are the species most likely to carry it. They tend to congregate in populated areas where the food supply is plentiful. They’re attracted to even the smallest bodies of standing water.

Lands in which carriers are numerous, including India, South America and parts of Africa, have the greatest number of reported cases. Travelers to those locales and other hot zones are at highest risk of infection.

However, the virus is also spread when infected travelers return to Charleston. If a local mosquito bites an infected person, it will then transmit Zika to the next person it bites. Sexual transmission is also possible.

The best way to avoid getting sick is to eliminate the mosquitoes that are biting infected people and spreading the illness.

What Are the Dangers and Symptoms?

The worst danger of Zika is its potential for causing severe birth defects. Pregnant women who are infected pass the virus to their fetuses. Pregnant women who suspect infection should immediately see a doctor.

The Zika virus has also been linked to outbreaks of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a disease that can cause breathing difficulties, muscle weakness, numbness and fatigue.

Most people who are infected don’t show symptoms. Those who do complain of headaches, fever, joint and muscle pain, a rash and conjunctivitis. Symptoms may persist for up to a week.

How Can I Prevent Infection?

You may avoid infection by taking these steps:

• Eliminate mosquitoes on your property.
• Keep up with CDC travel advisories. Avoid Zika hot zones, especially if you’re pregnant.
• Stay in air-conditioned buildings whenever possible.
• Wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible.
• Use insect repellant.

Can MosquitoNix Help?

We can. Our property inspections are thorough, and our comprehensive, environmentally safe spraying and misting services are highly effective. The friendly MosquitoNix team members are trained in the latest technology.

Say goodbye to disease-carrying mosquitoes. Call MosquitoNix today, and sleep better tonight.