Google Pledges Help and Money
This morning, Google announced new initiatives aimed at slowing the spread of the Zika virus in South America with enhanced mapping data and more detailed online information about the mosquito-borne virus. They partnered with UNICEF to create a platform that can be used to map the spread of Zika and identify potential outbreaks. The tool gathers data from a range of sources, which could help governments and aid organizations to allocate their resources more efficiently. As if their blog post wasn’t already full of amazing information (awesome when a Zika update has good news!), they also announced a $1 million grant for UNICEF, which will go toward mosquito eradication, vaccine development, and awareness campaigns.
Updated Numbers from the CDC
I was glad to read a positive zika update about what they’re doing this morning, but it was also a sobering reminder that the Zika virus is still something that is and should be top of mind when it comes to health concerns in our country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as of February 24, 2016 there are 107 travel-associated Zika virus cases reported in the United States. That means none of these cases have originated in the U.S. from an infected mosquito, but should be a huge consideration for those traveling to the roughly two dozen countries where Zika has been transmitted. (For a full list, check the CDC’s list of countries with active Zika transmission.)
Reading about Zika can be scary, but it’s important to remember only 1 in 5 people who are infected will actually become ill, and rarely will these people even need medical attention. The usual symptoms include headache, fever, rash, and joint pain, which last for 2-7 days on average. The threat posed to pregnant women and newborns is severe, but Zika virus is manageable in most cases. Be sure to check out these preventative steps you can take to protect yourself and your family against mosquitoes. While we aren’t experts in the medical field or the virus itself, we are experts in mosquito control and strive to always educate you on both Zika virus and how to reduce mosquito activity. Check back regularly with the Mosquito Joe Zika Virus Update page for the latest information, news, and tips to protect you and your family. Let’s all hope the new tools Google announced are going to make a huge footprint on the road of developing a vaccine and help the fight in mosquito borne illness.