The North American outbreak of the Zika virus started in 2015, making national headlines around the world. This virus is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito and can then be passed to other humans through sexual activity. Many U.S. citizens, including those in Virginia, believe that the threat has dissipated. So we’re here to answer the question you’ve all been looking for. Is the Zika virus still a threat?
Zika Statistics & What They Mean
In 2015 only 70 cases of Zika were reported in the U.S. and its territories. While this may seem small, in 2016 the number quickly jumped up to 41,181 cases. While the numbers have gone down to 685 cases so far in 2017, the Zika virus is still a threat. It is still present in the U.S. and its territories and that’s not all. Zika is of major concern due to the pregnancy outcome of those infected causing deformities. However, Zika isn’t the only mosquito-borne virus at risk in the U.S.—West Nile virus, Dengue Fever, Chikungunya, and Encephalitis are also still present in the U.S. and its territories.
Where Is Zika Virus The Biggest Threat?
While most U.S. States are at minimal risk of Zika, Florida, and Texas are at a much higher risk where there have been locally transmitted cases. U.S. territories including American Samoa, Alaska, and Hawaii all have between 1-11 cases in 2017 alone. However, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands all have more and have had local mosquito-borne transmission in 2017. With that being said, if you are planning a vacation, do research on your vacation destination on cdc.gov to learn more about what is at risk in the area. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, it is important that you and your significant other avoid risk areas.
In order to protect yourself and those you love, it is important to do your research and use bug spray. Even though your area may not be at risk of Zika, you can still prevent the risk of it and other mosquito borne viruses with small tasks.
Help Prevent The Spread Of Zika
- Wear bug spray to prevent bites
- Cover most of your body with clothing when outdoors
- Prevent mosquito breeding by emptying items holding rain water regularly
- Do your research
- Spread the word and inform others.
Zika Virus does appear to be declining. However, July is when most Zika cases are reported, and 2017 isn’t over. That means the case counts can still dramatically increase to show that we haven’t stopped Zika and there are plenty of areas where case counts have continued to increase. So, is the Zika virus still a threat? Yes, the problem still exists in the U.S. and all over the world. So protect yourself, and those around you as much as you can. If you feel that your yard is being bombarded by mosquitoes this season, check out our Mosquito and Tick Control Plan and contact GreenStar Pest for more information.