This is a complicated question because it really matters who is asking the question. So we've put together this list of who should be concerned, and why they should be concerned.
How Concerned Should You Be, From Least To Greatest.
- If you live in a state that does not have the two mosquitoes that spread Zika, you have much less to be concerned about. Without the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, this virus cannot become localized in a state. Unfortunately, Florida has both of these mosquitoes.
- If you have mosquito reduction services for your home and take several precautions when going away from your home, you have a reduced risk of being bitten by mosquitoes and contracting Zika.
- If you're not a pregnant woman, Zika is less of a threat, but not much. While 80% of those who contract Zika virus show little or no symptoms, this virus was connected to a twenty-fold increased risk of Guillain-Barre syndrome, which attacks the autoimmune system and creates a weakness and paralysis in the legs upward. Two-thirds of patients lose the ability to walk, and 25% need to be put on a mechanical ventilator due to a weakening of respiratory muscles.
- If you are a man with a sexual partner, you should have more concern. Zika can be spread through sexual contact. And, since this is a virus that can cause microcephaly in unborn children at all stages of pregnancy, it could have lifelong implications.
- If you live in a state with local cases of Zika, such as Florida, you have reason to be concerned. This virus hit Brazil in 2015, and by 2016 it had infected over 1 million people. This is partly due to the fact that it does not cause great sickness in most of those who are infected with it.
- If you are trying to have a baby, you should be concerned. Make sure you take precautions if you are planning on becoming pregnant.
- If you are pregnant, you should be very concerned. Every mosquito bite you get has the chance of bringing with its catastrophic consequences. Only you can determine how much risk you're willing to take. No one knows how quickly this virus will spread locally in the United States, or what the odds are that you will be bitten by an Aedes mosquito that has incubated this infectious disease.
Local transmission of Zika virus in Florida is definitely scary, but the United States has shown itself to be resistant to other deadly mosquito-borne viruses, such as malaria and West Nile, which kill millions of people around the world every year. Only time will tell if we can keep Zika from having a widespread impact here. Until then, take precautions to protect yourself when you go out, and consider mosquito reduction services for your property from Hoffer Pest.