While Malaria typically gets the most press among mosquito-borne illnesses, it is far from the only disease these common pests can carry. The Zika virus is not yet a household name, but according to the CDC, as of early March 2016, more than 100 locally contacted cases of the Zika virus have been reported in U.S. Territories.
Residents of Southern states with a humid climate where mosquitoes thrive, such as Alabama, may be at the highest risk of contracting Zika. You can reduce your chances of becoming infected with the Zika virus by taking measures to evade and eradicate mosquitoes. Here are the top ways to avoid this virus.
1. Remove Standing Pools of Water from Your Property
As summer and its accompanying humidity approaches, Alabama homeowners may have noticed an increase of insects, including mosquitoes, throughout their property. To ensure that mosquitoes cannot breed on your property, remove any standing pools of water. Look for any low points in your yard or around your foundation, and regularly inspect the property after a rainstorm.
2. Always Wear Bug Repellent When Working Outdoors
Avoiding mosquito bites can be as simple as applying bug repellent regularly. Choose sprays that contain DEET, citronella oil or a combination of the two to ensure maximum effectiveness.
3. Report Any Symptoms to Your Healthcare Provider Immediately
Symptoms of the Zika virus are generally mild and include rash, fever, and joint and muscle pain, but Zika is extremely dangerous for pregnant women. Babies born to mothers who have contracted the Zika virus are at a high risk for microcephaly, a serious brain defect. If you believe you may have contracted the Zika virus, seek the advice of a healthcare provider as soon as possible.
4. Avoid Travel to Certain Regions
The Zika virus has been reported across the world, mainly in tropical and equatorial regions such as Southeast Asia and Central America. It is recommended that travelers to regions with confirmed Zika virus cases use extreme caution to avoid mosquitoes or delay travel plans until the virus is under control.