Port Jervis, NY – An alarming new threat to the health of our country’s population is emerging through a familiar pest. One variety of mosquito, known as the “Yellow Fever Mosquito” (or Aedes aegypti), has been targeted as the primary carrier of the Zika virus, and new cases attributable to this insect are now being seen in several of our states, including those close to home, such as New York and New Jersey. An extremely troubling aspect of the illness produced by infection with the Zika virus is the potential for women who are pregnant to deliver children suffering from microcephaly, a debilitating birth defect.
Roughly six months ago, in May of last year, health professionals in Brazil made their first discovery of the presence of the virus in their country. Reports of more than 4,000 cases of microcephaly occurring in Brazil have since been attributed to women there who had been infected with Zika. Although the virus has been known to exist since as early as 1947, its incidences had been limited to equatorial regions of Africa and Asia. The spread of the virus to the Americas is alarming to the World Health Organization (WHO) as expressed in a statement by its director-general, Dr. Margaret Chan, who has warned that “the level of concern is high.” Estimates of infection are continuing to grow from an already estimated three to four million infections occurring in this part of the world.
Many people infected with the Zika virus apparently suffer only mild febrile symptoms with some even unaware that they were infected at all. Additionally, there is currently no definitive proof that mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus are even responsible for the high incidences of microcephaly occurring in Brazil although the evidence seems overwhelming. The connection is still being established and verified while the virus continues to spread, as those who are infected travel and unwittingly supply another infected source for new transmissions.
All possible measures to slow the spread of the virus need to be investigated and adopted while researchers struggle through clinical trials to find a vaccine. Due to the lack of any medicine currently available to treat those already infected, let alone the time necessary in development of a preventive vaccine, we must take any steps to impede the mosquitoes breeding abilities and avoid risks of being bitten ourselves.
Local specialists in pest management, Masters Pest Control, are taking the threat from mosquitoes carrying Zika virus extremely seriously. They have recently posted additional information for the public through their website’s blog at www.masterspestcontrol.com/blog. Servicing the Tri-State area for more than 30 years, Masters Pest Control can provide you with information on how to decrease mosquitoes’ breeding sites and reduce your exposure to mosquitoes. For more information, or to schedule a service, please call them at 877-546-9575 or visit their website at masterspestcontrol.com.