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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Beat the Bloodsuckers: Mosquito Control Awareness Week 2017

As you can imagine for an outdoor mosquito control company, summer is a very busy time around our office. However, for one week each year we take some time to step back and really focus on the reason we do what we do: the importance of mosquito control and educating the public.

This year National Mosquito Control Awareness Week (MCAW) was June 25-July 1. MCAW is a time to educate the general public about the significance of mosquitoes in daily life and the important services provided by mosquito control workers. Mosquito Control Awareness Week is close to our hearts here at Mosquito Joe for obvious reasons.

Our franchisees spend a lot of time out in their local communities, spreading awareness of the importance of mosquito control and the services Mosquito Joe provides. Not only are these bugs a nuisance that can ruin your summer fun, but they pose serious health risks such as Zika, West Nile, and EEE. While we work all year long towards these efforts, a designated week such as this really shines the spotlight on professional mosquito control and why we need it.

Giving Back

By far, the biggest part of the week, and the one we most look forward to, is giving back as a company. For the fifth year, Mosquito Joe locations across the country partnered with local blood donation centers for our Beat the Bloodsuckers campaign. For every new customer that signed up for mosquito control services during Mosquito Control Awareness Week, we donated 10% of the sale to those local blood banks.

This year we also offered a new partnership with Nothing But Nets alongside our traditional local blood bank partnerships. Since 2006, Nothing But Nets has raised more than $45 million, delivering more than 7 million bed nets to protect families in Sub-Saharan Africa from malaria. A mosquito net sent to someone in need is $10, so for each new customer who signed up during Mosquito Control Awareness Week, we contributed $10 to represent a net.

Our franchise owners were able to choose whether their philanthropic efforts that week went towards a local blood bank or to Nothing But Nets. This year we had the privilege of partnering with twenty two blood banks across the country. This money will go towards the amazing work these organizations do in saving lives and emergency assistance. Because of our amazing customers, we were also able to donate over $6,353 in just one week to the blood centers we partnered with. Franchisees who partnered with Nothing But Nets donated $13,774 to the organization, supplying 1,377 life-saving nets to those in need.

Mosquito Control Awareness Week 2017

Mosquito Joe Spreading the News

Our franchisees did an amazing job spreading our message in their communities during Mosquito Control Awareness Week. Between news articles and TV segments, the amount of people who received mosquito control information from Mosquito Joe was impressive. Check some of them out here:

We’re so grateful to everyone that made our 2017 Beat the Bloodsuckers campaign the best yet and a giant highlight for us as a company this year. Thanks to our participating franchisees, each blood bank that we partnered with, Nothing But Nets, and our AMAZING customers that helped make this year’s Beat the Bloodsuckers campaign the huge success that it was.

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June is National Pest Control Month

If you take one look at our website, it’s pretty easy to see we are passionate about getting rid of mosquitoes, fleas and ticks. Nothing makes us happier than getting you back outside and enjoying your yard. Whether that’s grilling, gardening, playing ball with your dog, or swimming in your backyard pool, there are plenty of activities that can keep you entertained and enjoying life during warmer weather. We talk often about the nuisance mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks are…but did you know Mosquito Joe’s barrier spray services take care of other insects and outdoor pests that can wreak havoc on your outdoor fun? Since June is National Pest Control Month, we thought we’d take the time to tell you a little bit about some other flying fun-suckers we can help eliminate.

Earwigs

The earwig (no, not a hairpiece for your ears) is one insect can make a mess of your garden. Earwigs are mostly nocturnal and often hide during the day. They feed on a wide variety of insects and plants, so damage to foliage, flowers, and various crops is commonly blamed on this oddly named bug.

Stinkbug

If you’re in certain areas of the U.S. (Virginia, Maryland and Delaware), the stinkbug may be something you’re well aware of, but not because you want to be. Sometimes known as shield bugs because of their distinctive shape, they are commonly referred to as stink bugs because they release a smelly odor when chased, picked up or stepped on. Many people compare the smell to smelly feet. Generally, stinkbugs prefer to be outside. They reproduce and eat outdoors, so they won’t try to move inside until it starts to get cold. But if you see them on the outside of your house, let your Mosquito Joe technician know!

Flies & Centipedes

I know when I’m entertaining in my backyard and uncover the food, the sight of flies can drive me crazy. Even worse was the time spent standing by the table fanning them away. And did you know there are over 8,000 species of centipedes? Some are known to have very painful bites that can cause severe swelling, chills, and fever.


Despite these obnoxious and gross facts, there is a silver lining. These are all insects that you can keep out of your yard using Mosquito Joe barrier spray treatments. That’s right folks, we don’t just kill mosquitoes, fleas and ticks, we take care of other pests that can ruin your garden, leave you with painful bites, and send you running indoors. Bedbugs, clover mites, millipedes, oh my! Pick up the phone and call your local Mosquito Joe today to find out how we can help solve your creepy critter problems.

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Heartworm Awareness & Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month

April is a big month for us here at Mosquito Joe for two reasons: Heartworm Awareness Month and Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month. When we say our goal is to make outside fun again, that is for our four legged friends too. Since our barrier sprays also eliminate ticks and fleas, we take pride in your pets being safe and itch free, too. Not to mention, many of us Joes are dog and cat owners, and knowledge is power when it comes to insects causing sickness in our pets, so we’re honoring the month with some important information about Heartworm, ticks and fleas!

Heartworm in Pets

Heartworm is not something to take lightly with dogs and cats. If you are a pet owner you know heartworm testing is done yearly at your furry friend’s annual checkup, and preventative medicine is strongly recommended monthly. But, do you know how heartworm is spread to dogs and cats if they aren’t protected? Mosquitoes! That’s right, they don’t just make us sick, they can make our pets sick too. The mosquito plays a vital role in the heartworm life cycle. When a mosquito bites an infected animal, it picks up these baby worms, which develop and mature into larvae over a period of 10 to 14 days. Then, when the infected mosquito bites another dog or cat, the larvae are deposited onto the surface of the animal’s skin and enter the new host through the mosquito’s bite.

Ticks and Your Pets

Dogs of MoJo Heartworm Awareness
The Dogs of MoJo

We always associate ticks with the annoyance they can cause when they’re on your pet, but they can make pets and humans very sick. Humans can contract Lyme disease from ticks, but it can also cause the disease in dogs too. The symptoms are similar but present themselves differently in our pups than in humans. Here is what you can be on the lookout for with Lyme disease in dogs:

    • Stiff walk with an arched back
    • Sensitive to touch
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Fever, lack of appetite, and depression may accompany inflammation of the joints
    • Lymph nodes close to the site of the infecting tick bite may be swollen

Fleas are more than an annoyance.

Now that we know how sick ticks and mosquitoes can make us, we can’t let the opportunity go to mention that fleas are much more than an itchy annoyance. Fleas actually carry diseases just like mosquitoes and ticks. Fleas find “hosts,” and those hosts are warm blooded animals. Naturally they are usually dogs and cats, but they can also be opossums, rats, and other rodents. According to the ASPCA, since fleas can consume 15 times their own body weight in blood, they can cause anemia and a significant amount of blood loss over time. They can even cause tapeworm! Not to mention, if your pet happens to get just one flea, that flea can lay eggs every 12 days, and under optimum conditions, those baby fleas can reach adulthood and multiply themselves. Flea infestations are notoriously difficult to get rid of in your house, so avoiding them before they begin is key.

Prevention and Treatment

If you have pets, veterinarians recommend a monthly flea, tick and heartworm preventative to be given during ALL seasons. Only giving your dog or cat flea treatments during spring and summer is not effective. What your vet might fail to mention is the first step in flea, tick and mosquito prevention is treating your yard. Our mosquito control services also kill and defend against fleas and ticks, so let Mosquito Joe be your first line of defense against these disease carrying pests. Contact your local Mosquito Joe today for a free quote. We have no contracts and no obligations, just mosquito, flea and tick treatment solutions.

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