The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and various environmental health departments are warning people in many areas of the United States to support themselves for the upcoming mosquito season.
So far, 48 countries and territories in the Americas have confirmed Zika transmissions since 2015. (WHO)
While California had no reports in 2016 or concerns about Zika virus mosquitoes, the wet winter and hot spring this year created the ideal breeding conditions for mosquitoes.
ZIKA VIRUS MOSCITES EXPECTING MORE
It is scary that experts predict that the Zika virus that carries mosquitoes (Aedes Aegypti) will propagate abundantly over the southern and eastern states this coming summer. The Aedes mosquito could spread as far as New York City and Los Angeles. This is mainly due to the warm winter and favorable summer conditions.
Interestingly, scientists and researchers from the University of Georgia fear that 26 mosquitoes across multiple genes could potentially carry the Zika virus. Different species tend to live in a particular region, given that model, and seven mosquito species in the United States could become hosts to the Zika virus.
One species that is tolerant of colder temperatures is Aedes Albopictus, the Asian tiger mosquito that moves north. Albopictus is also an invasive species that carries, Dengue fever, West Nile fever, yellow fever and encephalitis.
This could mean that the virus could potentially spread across the Canadian border. Travelers returning from Zika-infected regions can also spread the virus.
Complications from infections are underestimated
A new study published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) suggests that complications from Zika infections are underestimated. During the survey, 1118 Canadian travelers returning from America carried the 41 Zika virus. (Oct 2015 – Sep 2016).
2 of those infected had symptoms similar to Guillain-Barré syndrome, 1 with Zika viral meningitis. The study observed the full clinical spectrum of acute Zika virus, including negative fetal and neurological outcomes.
TIPS FOR COMBAT MOSQUITOES
Prevention efforts should be on everyone’s list this year and begin long before the bug season starts. Here are some tips to make your summer mosquito safe:
Empty and remove excess water in ditches or areas where water collects.
Remove stagnant water, including plant containers, bird baths, dog bowls. Fill with fresh water regularly.
Check out your patio for: Old decks where water is easily collected, garbage covers, children’s toys, inflatable pools, rain barrels, tarpaulins on BBQs, boats, wooden piles, etc.
Clean gutters where debris accumulates and collects water.
Mosquito nets on porches or pergolas can actually look very stylish and add a decorative touch to your backyard.
Plants that help deter mosquitoes:
Plants lemongrass and lemonella plants near seating,
Catnip (be prepared to have a few cat friends over),
Birds love to party on bugs. Attract them by hanging a few bird boards around your yard.
Bats are incredible insect hunters and love mosquitoes.
Cover your grub
Use food cover when eating out and remove food when done.
Add a breeze
Standing fans or ceiling fans also help keep bugs away.
Lawn, shrubs and leaves
Keep the lawn cut off.
Remove old debris and leaves under bushes.
Remove leaves especially in low areas where water can accumulate, near drains and ditches.
Use a non-toxic, chemical free nature repellent.
Many natural repellents on the market are very effective, safe and some reject better than DEET products.
A note about candles and scented torches: Citronella candles and torches work only if you are very close to the burning scent, less than 1-2 meters.