For more than a year, scientists have scrambled to unlock the mysteries of the mosquito-borne Zika virus. While much is not known about how this illness originated or what long-term implications it can have on people’s health, scientists have learned some important facts about Zika and what it takes to keep you and your family safe from it. These newfound Zika virus revelations, while alarming, can also be used to your advantage now so that you can prepare for the possible spread of the disease in 2017.
New Zika Discoveries
Scientists have known for a year or longer that the Zika virus can cause detrimental birth defects. Pregnant women who are bitten by Zika-infected mosquitoes can easily transmit the disease to their unborn babies, who in turn can develop deformities like microencephaly before they are born.
While at first scientists thought that birth defects were the worst consequences of the virus, they now know that the disease can cause other devastating side effects in adults and children. During the latter part of 2016, researchers found that the Zika virus may trigger temporary to prolonged paralysis, a condition known as Epstein-Barr Syndrome, in men, women, and children bitten by Zika-infected mosquitoes.
Further, researchers discovered that Zika-infected men can transmit the disease to their sexual partners. This form of transmission now qualifies the Zika virus to be classified as both a mosquito-borne and sexually transmitted disease.
To date, no effective vaccination against Zika has proven to be successful in preventing or halting the spread of the virus. However, scientists continue to work on a Zika vaccine that can be made available readily and affordably to people throughout the world.
Avoiding the Zika Virus
Until such a vaccination is available, it is vital that you know what steps you can take to protect you and your family from the Zika virus. It is already well-known that the virus is primarily carried by mosquitoes originating from countries where the disease is most prevalent. These countries include Brazil, which is thought to be Ground Zero for the Zika virus, as well as Venezuela, Cuba, and Guatemala, among others.
You can protect yourself by avoiding travel to those countries as well as treating your yard and garden at home to prevent mosquito infestations. The Zika virus has made its way into the U.S. and is now prevalent in places like Miami and South Florida. Regardless of where you live, you should hire professional pest control services to treat your yard to keep mosquitoes away from your home in 2017.
The Zika virus continues to mystify scientists and the public alike. You can protect yourself and your loved ones in 2017 by learning the newest revelations of the Zika virus.