Zika Virus Update: Where We Are Now

In 2016 it seemed as if Zika virus was front page news on a daily basis. It’s rapid spread across South and Central America followed by the first local transmissions in the U.S. put health experts and the public on high alert. Zika’s ability to cause serious birth defects when transmitted from mother to fetus was a major impetus in the global heath scare as well. But where is all the talk about Zika in 2017? From the lack of headlines about the virus this year, you might think that it’s no longer a concern. But that is far from true. Let’s take a look at the Zika virus situation, its health effects, and what’s being done about it.

Zika Numbers

As of August 16, 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that there have been a total of 5,415 cases of Zika in the U.S.. 224 of those were acquired locally via mosquitoes, and another 49 were acquired through sexual transmission, laboratory transmission, and other person-to-person routes. 203 cases have been reported in 2017, all of them acquired via travel. So there has certainly been a decrease in case count from 2016, which reported over 5,000 cases alone.

In addition to the normal Zika monitoring, there is also a pregnancy surveillance system in place across the country to quickly identify those most at risk of the damaging consequences of Zika; pregnant women and their babies. Between 2016 and 2017, 2,112 cases of Zika were reported via the Pregnancy Registry in the U.S.. 93 of those cases resulted in birth defects such as microcephaly, hearing loss, and other brain abnormalities.

Transmission, Symptoms, Testing, and Treatment of Zika

Zika is primarily transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito of the Aedes species. However, it can also be transmitted from mother to child during birth if the mother is infected during pregnancy. Zika can also be sexually transmitted during unprotected sex. There is still a lot to study in terms of how long Zika remains in the system after infection, but organizations such as the CDC are trying to get to the bottom of it.

The symptoms for Zika have not changed much from last year, but our understanding of them and how they should be tested have improved. Most people infected with Zika will experience mild to no symptoms whatsoever. Those experiencing symptoms could see fever, rash, headache, joint pain, red eyes, and muscle pain. These can last for up to a week as the virus usually remains in your blood for that long.

If you exhibit these symptoms, and especially if you have recently travelled to an area with Zika, consult your doctor about getting tested. Zika can be detected via blood or urine tests. Unfortunately, there is no treatment or vaccine for Zika virus at this time. The only thing to do is prevent infection or treat the symptoms once infected. This includes rest, drinking fluids, taking acetaminophen to reduce fever and pain, and protecting yourself against mosquito bites.

Zika Protection

Since there is no treatment or vaccination for Zika, the best way to protect yourself against it is to avoid traveling to areas with a high risk of infection and to protect yourself against mosquito bites. The easiest ways to do the latter includes wearing long sleeves and pants outside, remove standing water from your property, removing debris or brush from your gutters, using effective mosquito repellants, and even using professional mosquito control services like Mosquito Joe.

There is plenty of other information about Zika, the ongoing research behind it, and ways to protect yourself against it on the CDC website. Zika may not be in the news as much this year, but it is still a dangerous disease without a cure. So why not take necessary precautions to protect yourself and your family? Mosquito Joe offers barrier spray services applied to your property every 21 days that eliminate mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks so you can enjoy your outdoor space and add a layer of defense to your arsenal against diseases like Zika and West Nile. Call your local Mosquito Joe today for a free quote and more information.

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What is World Mosquito Day All About?

Mosquitoes are not only annoying and inconvenient backyard pests. They are a serious health threat worldwide. Our commitment to mosquito control has pushed us to think globally. We are striving to reach beyond our own communities to find ways in which we can help make an impact in the world.

August 20th is World Mosquito Day. This international holiday was established in 1897 when Sir Ronald Ross, a British doctor, discovered the link between mosquitoes and the transmission of malaria between humans. For the past 120 years, August 20th has been celebrated in commemoration of Ross and his discovery that has since affected the lives of many.Mosquito Control Awareness - Mosquitoes - Malaria

Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by mosquitoes carrying Plasmodium parasites. When the mosquito bites a human, the parasites enter the body and travel to the liver where they mature and affect red blood cells in the bloodstream. Symptoms of malaria typically begin within the first few weeks post-bite, and come in cycles that last two to three days at a time. These symptoms tend to resemble the flu; for example, high fever, chills, muscle pain, fatigue, night sweats, headache, diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. Other symptoms include fast heart rate, mental confusion, and pallor. Malaria can cause swelling of the blood vessels of the brain, breathing problems caused by a buildup of fluid in the lungs, failure of the kidneys, liver, or spleen, anemia caused by the destruction of red blood cells, and low blood-sugar.

Local mosquitoes become infected with malaria when they bite a person who carries Plasmodium parasites, and this is how the disease is locally transmitted. Almost half of the globe is affected by malaria. While most malaria cases and deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa, areas in Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East are also at high risk. Along with refugees, pregnant women, and children, first and second generation immigrants are often prone to infection after visiting friends and relatives in their native countries.

In May of this year, Mosquito Joe partnered with Nothing But Nets to launch an ongoing campaign called MoJo Bites Back. Every $10 donated to the campaign supplies a family in Sub-Saharan Africa at risk of malaria with a life-saving mosquito bed net. So far, the MoJo Bites Back campaign has raised over $12,000. In honor of World Mosquito Day, we have increased our goal and hope to reach $15,000 by August 20th. If you are interested in helping, please visit our Nothing But Nets website to donate. Given the success of the campaign so far, it’s clear we have the best customers in the world. We are confident that together, we will be able to make a difference while honoring such a significant day in history.

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Sisters Day 2017

Sisters fill many roles in our lives. Growing up, they’re your partner in crime, someone you can go to for advice, and oftentimes, your best friend. But the love doesn’t stop once you move out of the house. Sisterhood is a bond that lasts forever! August 6th marked National Sisters Day, and although we are a little late to the game, we figured it’s never too late to celebrate some of the special ladies in our lives! We toured the office and asked some of our staff to tell us what they love most about their sisters.

Sisters Day 2017
Michael Wagner and sister

My sister Donna is pretty spectacular.  She is a personal trainer in Lexington, Kentucky.  She is the proud mother of a 17 year old boy and a 13 year old girl.  She is a prolific runner having run multiple marathons and many endurance races, and is just an overall great person. – Michael Wagner, President of Pool Scouts

My sister Roxanne!  She does job placement for special education students that are in high school. Super intelligent. Growing up she was always a good shoulder to cry on.  I could talk for hours and she wouldn’t say anything, she would just listen to me. She has one of the biggest hearts that I know of.  – Jake Vinluan, Franchise Business Coach

My sister is just the best person in the world.  She is the nicest person I’ve ever met and always tries to see the good in everyone she meets.  She is a terrific mother and has raised three incredible, strong, kind daughters who will grow up to be terrific mothers and role models just like her. My sister is a great listener and my favorite sounding board.  She always helps me to see situations from every angle and helps me to stay grounded when life throws me a wrinkle.  She’s always there for me and I can’t imagine my life without her in it. – Jodi Ramoino, Director of Franchise Development

Sisters Day 2017
Jayme Sabo and sisters

My favorite thing about my older sister is her confidence. She believes in who she is and what she does and I love that about her! My favorite thing about my little sister is her eagerness and willingness to grow and evolve. She faces challenges head-on, first looking inward. Both my sisters have impacted me in their own unique ways. Because of them, I’m ever-changing, evolving, and yet confident. – Jayme Sabo, Director of Marketing

Growing up with my sister, Caitlyn, meant growing up with the ultimate travel buddy. We grew up traveling every summer and winter, but when we both started working and attending college, it happened less and less. We always throw around ideas of places to go, but inevitably it never happened since we had a heavy workload. One summer day, around 10 pm at night, my sister called me out of the blue to ask if I wanted to go to Disney…aka the happiest place on earth…TOMORROW! The room and tickets were already paid for, I just had to figure out how to get there. By midnight we were booking our flights, and by noon we had met up in Sunshine State, Florida. So far, this was the most impulsive trip I have ever taken and I would not have asked to go with anyone else. I love my sister because no matter how crazy life gets, she is always reminding me to enjoy the little things and live life to the fullest. – Amanda Liddell, Search Engine Marketing Specialist

Sisters Day 2017
Bridget Cardillo and sister

So my little sister Emily is actually the funniest person ever. Her dry wit and quick zingers keep me laughing – so hard that I’m in tears I might add. Even though we sound and look alike, she’s way cooler than me and I just love her! – Bridget Cardillo, Digital Marketing Manager

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