PROTECT AGAINST THE ZIKA VIRUS
There are more than 5,182 reported cases of Americans affected with the Zika virus as of March 29, 2017, according to the CDC. And the virus is already in Florida and Texas accounting for 222 cases presumed to be acquired directly from mosquito-borne transmission. The US Territories account for 38,303 reported cases of the Zika virus.
The American Mosquito Control Association states the best defense against the Zika virus is avoiding mosquito bites. Use mosquito repellent and wear protective clothing.
There is more unknown than know about the Zika virus at present, for this reason alone this virus should be taken very seriously, and appropriate precautions should be taken to avoid infection. Zika virus infection in pregnant women can result in serious, even lethal consequences for the fetus. Many people affected do not develop symptoms, those who do tend to have fever, rash, joint pains, red eyes, headache and muscle pain. And over the past year, the virus has also been spread through sexual contact.
There is no known vaccine for the Zika virus. Prevention efforts are key.
PROTECT AGAINST LYME DISEASE
Lyme disease is the most common disease spread by deer ticks, black legged ticks, and several other varieties of ticks in the Northern Hemisphere. It is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected blacklegged tick. There are an estimated 329,000 cases of Lyme Disease that occur annually in the United States and over 65,000 cases in Europe.
The most common sign of infection is an expanding area of redness, that begins at the site of the tick bite about a week after the tick bite occurred. The rash in usually not itchy or painful. Other symptoms can include fever, headache, and fatigue. Left untreated infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system.
To prevent Lyme disease, use insect repellent and protective clothing and remove ticks promptly. For more information on Lyme disease and prevention recommendations visit the CDC website.
PROTECT AGAINST WEST NILE VIRUS
Typically, West Nile virus spreads to humans and animals via infected mosquitos - mosquitos that have fed on infected birds. Approximately 80% of West Nile virus infections in humans cause no symptoms. In cases where symptoms do occur, the time from infection to appearance of symptoms is typically between 2 and 15 days. Symptoms may include fever, severe headaches, fatigue, disorientation or confusion, muscle pain or aches, stiff neck, malaise, nausea, vomiting, and rash.
People of advanced age, the very young, or those with immunosuppression, are the most susceptible to contracting the virus. The neurological diseases that may occur can cause inflammation of the brain, inflammation of the meninges (protective membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord), and spinal cord inflammation, which results in a syndrome similar to polio, which may cause paralysis.
Currently, there is no vaccine against West Nile Virus. The best method to reduce the rate of the virus is mosquito control and the use of personal protective measures such as insect repellents and protective clothing.