How Zika Virus May Impact Hartford
April 13, 2016
We are all aware that mosquitoes can carry many dangerous viruses. Symptoms of these viruses range from dizziness, nausea, fever, diarrhea, and vomiting, to more serious conditions that can lead to death. But there is a new virus hitting our shores. One that doesn't just threaten our health; it threatens the health of our unborn babies and can lead to lifelong hardship for families here in the United States. The virus is called Zika, and studies show that it can cause microcephaly in unborn children at any stage of pregnancy--and the pregnant women of Hartford Connecticut are in as much danger of this virus as pregnant women in any other city in the country. Here's what you need to know.
Mosquito Control and Early Warning
You have probably noticed that mosquito-borne viruses do not have the same effect here in the United States as they do in other countries of the world. One reason is the commitment made by municipalities, business owners, and homeowners to have mosquito control services on their property and because of early warning systems that use free-range and captive chickens to routinely test for the presence of these viruses. But we do still have outbreaks, and these outbreaks can happen anywhere.
World Travel and Mosquito Viruses
Outbreaks occur when people enter our country from other countries of the world carrying these viruses inside their bodies. When mosquitoes draw blood from these individuals they are then able to spread these viruses locally. This can literally happen anywhere in the country. Why? Because 80% of people who contract the Zika virus show no symptoms at all! That means a person coming to the U.S. from a country with widespread cases of Zika virus could fly in to any major city and take a bus to a remote area and start an outbreak without even knowing it.
No town or city in the United States is safe from an outbreak of the Zika virus, so we encourage you to take extra precautions this spring and summer.
If you are pregnant, please try to stay inside at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
Please wear repellent with DEET, or oil of lemon eucalyptus, on your skin or on your clothes.
Wear long sleeves and pants when possible
Make sure all of the screens in your home are in good working condition.
If you're going to be outside on your back deck, consider using a fan to create a breeze. Mosquitoes are terrible fliers.
We also strongly encourage all home and business owners to consider mosquito control services. Together we can reduce mosquito populations and slow the spread of mosquito-borne viruses like Zika.
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