Zika Virus Threatens Homes: Nuisance to Public Health Threat

Zika Virus Threatens Homes: Nuisance to Public Health Threat

Shocking news of the mosquito-borne Zika virus bewildered thousands all over the world! The common mosquito turned from a nuisance into a serious public health threat during an outbreak that hit many around the globe last year.

Though this new virus came as a scare to many it seems to have been inevitable. It’s important to remember that mosquitoes have been around since the dinosaurs! The oldest fossilized mosquito is 46 million years old! They have been spreading diseases like Malaria, Yellow Fever, Chikungunya, etc. for many millennia. In fact, currently it is said that there is about 100 quadrillion mosquitoes, while there is only about 7.5 billion humans in the world. This means that for every human there is over 13 million mosquitoes. So how should people protect themselves from these pests???

Prevent Spread of Virus

As the Zika virus threatens society’s safety many factors have been taken in order to prevent it from spreading. This includes spraying insect repellent onto skin, wearing clothes treated with permethrin (an insecticide), and minimizing the amount of exposed skin. If the general population takes these actions they will be protected from such viruses in the outside world but not necessarily in the safety of their homes.

Furthermore, your home can be the breeding grounds of these virus spreading mosquitoes. These destructive bugs can breed in any still or stagnant water. They become inhabitants of pools, ponds, bayous and other wetlands. Plus, they can make home in unexpected places like garden ponds, old tin cans, watering cans, blocked gutters, bird baths, and anywhere where water has been collected. You can protect your family and yourself by emptying water from such containers and keeping fountains with running water on. If mosquitoes are already living near your home avoid them and any other nearby static water.

Mosquitoes Reach Inside Your Home

Now what happens if mosquitoes reach the inside of your home? How would you prevent pesky vermin from infiltrating a safe place? You stop them from ever entering! Check your windows, doors, and screens. It is possible that the mosquitoes entered through a broken screen door or window screen. A hole of 0.3 to 2 cm in diameter is big enough for a common mosquito to fly into! It would be a good idea to fix any possible entry points that the insects could enter.

With the invention of the window screen in the mid 1800s mosquitoes and other insects have been less likely to create havoc and disease in people’s homes. Between 1823 and 1836, when several advertisements of window screens or insect screens appeared, the cases of malaria in the U.S. dropped! Though many other inventions like fans, and air conditioning helped to stop malaria window screens came along earlier. Window screens may have been the start of a safer environment free of the dreadful disease known as malaria.

So fix your window screens, and screen doors now! Mosquitoes can and will enter many homes through broken screens. They will find the nearest prey and infect this victim with the appalling disease known as the Zika virus. Prevent yourself and your family from this treacherous illness by fixing your window screen and sliding screen doors now!

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