We're not gonna lie; Zika is scary. When this virus broke out in French Polynesia, it was associated with a twenty-fold increase of Guillain-Barre syndrome. This autoimmune disease can produce widespread weakness and paralysis in the body. With this syndrome, two-thirds of patients lose the ability to walk, and 25% have to be put on a mechanical ventilator due to weakness of respiratory muscles. Fortunately, over 80% of those who contract Zika show little or no symptoms at all, and it is most commonly associated with an itchy red rash, fever, headache, and muscle pain.
Zika is also known to cause microcephaly in unborn children at all stages of pregnancy. In later months of pregnancy, it can even produce enough brain damage to cause seizure disorders. That is some scary stuff. But this is a virus that can only be spread by Aedes mosquitoes, and Aedes mosquitoes aren't born with the virus. They must incubate it into an infectious disease. That means you can get bitten by a lot of mosquitoes and never have the wrong mosquito bite you. There are currently no real percentages that adequately predict the chances of contracting Zika in a form that is a health risk.
Until recently, the only Zika cases reported in Florida were travel-related. This is no longer the case. If you live in Tallahassee, you are probably watching news of this virus quite closely. You may even be watching as it is being tracked by health officials. As of this writing, 31 local cases have been reported in Miami-Dade, 1 case in Broward, and 1 case in Palm Beach. So, what does it mean for us here in Tallahassee? How much of a threat is this virus to us?
This virus is not likely to be quarantined, and there is currently no cure for Zika. That means it will continue to spread and will eventually pose an increasing threat here in Tallahassee. The CDC suggests the following ways to reduce the risk.
Avoid traveling to areas where Zika is local.
Protect yourself if you have a sexual partner who has traveled to an area where Zika is local.
Use mosquito bite prevention when you go out of your home.
Reduce mosquito breeding sites on your property.
Work closely with your healthcare provider.
If you need mosquito reduction services in Northern Florida, McCall Service can help. A single mosquito can produce 3,000 larvae in a lifetime. That is a lot of mosquito bites waiting to happen. Our services will address breeding sites on your property and kill adult mosquitoes where they hide. So when Zika comes to Tallahassee, you'll be ready for it.