It’s the middle of summer. You and your kids have waited all year to be outside, appreciating nature and soaking up the sun. After all, spending lazy days playing poolside is the stuff of childhood memories. That, and the graduations, weddings, cookouts, picnics, festivals and vacations.
This year it’s a little less carefree. Now, across the United States, what was a common nuisance is a fear-evoking concern. Mosquito bites. With good reason – from the CDC to health departments in nearly every state, people are taking precautions against mosquito bites because of the looming threat of Zika.
Zika and the nasty little Aedes mosquitoes that carry it are dominating the news worldwide. In fact, mid-May the Aedes mosquito was Time Magazine’s cover insect. Moreover, an article inside declared mosquitoes the deadliest creatures in the world to humans, partly because of the vast array of diseases they spread.
What is Zika?
A little understood virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control, it’s a disease spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito causing fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. After being bitten by an infected mosquito, Zika’s usually mild symptoms last for several days to a week. And, because people usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and very rarely die of Zika, many don’t even realize they’ve been infected.
So why all the worry? It’s around concern for pregnant women and women who are hoping to become pregnant. Scientists think that Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects. And, recent reports place the threat far larger, linking Zika to an autoimmune disorder that attacks the brain and spinal cord in infected adults causing weakness, numbness and loss of balance and vision that can last six months.
This doesn’t mean all people infected with Zika will experience these problems and for now, scientists think once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections. But, they do not know what the long lasting effects of infection will be.
The widespread worry surrounding Zika also is due to the fact that its impact is worldwide. On February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization declared Zika virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Local transmission has been reported in many countries, and the Zika virus is continuing to spread to new areas. Though all cases in the US are currently related to travel outside our borders or sexual contact with an infected person, as of June 1, all but 5 states have reported Zika infections.
Why do mosquitos bite you?
Of course, no one wants to contract Zika. So, logically this summer and through the warm fall months, you need to work on avoiding mosquitoes, which starts with understanding why they bite.
To read more about Zika and how Ntrinsiq helps prevent being bitten, click here…