Understanding Zika Virus Zika is a virus transmitted by the bite of the mosquito to humans and from human to human. Only 1 in 5 people infected with Zika will show symptoms such as fever, rash and joint pain. Zika has been linked to microencephaly in babies who contracted the virus from their mothers while pregnant. The CDC is also investigating a correlation of Zika with Guillain-Barré syndrome, an uncommon sickness of the nervous system. Should You Be Concerned About Zika? Fact Sheet •First - are you in a risk zone? Aedes species are not everywhere. There are two species, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus that to the best of current knowledge are the only species capable of actively vectoring, or transmitting, the Zika virus, (with albopictus vectoring only seen in the lab, to date) •Humans are reservoirs and can transmit Zika. This bears repeating. With all other mosquito borne viruses humans were ‘dead end’ hosts, if infected, we could not transmit the virus. Not the case with Zika. If infected with Zika, people can transmit Zika four ways: oSexual transmission from a man to a woman oBlood transfusion oIn utero from an infected mother to fetus oTo biting female mosquitoes To date, The human cases you have read about in the U.S. to date have all been ‘imported’ travel cases, i.e. the individual had traveled to South America, bitten there and became symptomatic once returning to the states.
•Not your West Nile mosquitoes oBoth Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus like to lay eggs in very small amounts of water. That's how they earned their ‘container breeder’ nickname -- you can find their eggs in items as small as a bottle cap. They love standing water, therefore any type of container is a potential breeding site, e.g. Trays of flower pots, bird baths, standing water in gutters, downspout drains, rain barrels, still ponds, junk piles. oThey like to live in residential areas and bite during the day. . . just the opposite of the night-biting mosquitoes that can carry West Nile Virus. oIn fact, Aedes aegypti prefer to rest inside at night. Leave your garage door up? That’s a wide open invitation to Ae. aegypti. Carports, sheds and other out buildings are all desired resting spots too. Everyone Needs to Fight Zika Together. If you live in an area where Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus are found, you need to do your part to keep your property free of potential breeding sites. Remember – these species like to lay eggs in as little as a teaspoon of water and can hatch in just 3 to 4 days. More importantly, the Aedes mosquitoes breed in your yard generally stay near your yard – reducing that breeding spots helps protect your family. •Be Zika free, check every three. Every three days, residents should check their yards for potential breeding sites. Tip and tosswater found in: oFlower pot trays oPlanter boxes oBird baths oKiddie pools oSandbox and yard toys oWheel barrows oWatering cans Remove trash or junk from yard that can hold water: oAbandoned tires oTrash oUnused lawn furniture or grills oCans oBottles oFood containers oLids oOpen trash cans Check gutters and drain tubes (especially ridged tubing) Treat rain barrels with a larvicide from hardware store or nursery