The Zika virus has spread at an alarming rate and over 800 Americans and 300 Zika virus cases have been confirmed in New York from mosquitoes as of the end of June 2016.
Locally in lower New York, including Manhattan NYC, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island (the Five Burroughs), and Long Island there are huge mosquito problems, and pregnant women and the elderly need to be careful this summer.
In Suffolk County and Nassau County, Long Island is surrounded by water and there are many freshwater breeding grounds for mosquitoes that often swarm at night.
The CDC has urged pregnant women to avoid 45 countries with Zika, and New York Senator Charles Schumer is calling on Congress to pass $1.9 billion in emergency funding to combat the spread of the virus that is known to cause severe birth defects.
There have been some cases in the Finger Lakes region of New York and the entire state is at risk.
Pregnant women are being advised to stay away from anywhere where Zika-carrying mosquitoes are native or have been spotted.
To date there is no treatment or vaccine for Zika virus, which is a priority of the C.D.C. and the W.H.O.
What mosquitoes carry Zika?
The Aedes aegypti mosquito has spread the majority of the Zika cases across the world and in the US is found in Florida and Hawaii.
The Asian Tiger mosquito also carries the virus and these mosquitoes have been found in New York and Chicago.
Where does Zika come from?
This virus was first discovered in the Zika forest in Uganda in 1947, but it remained in Africa and Asia for decades where people began to build up a resistance to it.
Zika did not begin spreading widely on the back of increasing mosquito populations in the Western Hemisphere until sometime in the last two-to-three years.
Where is Zika now?
The Zika virus wreaked havoc on millions of Brazilians in 2015, when it was identified as the “mystery disease” infecting people in the northeast region of Brazil.
There are now 45 countries reporting cases of Zika.
As West Nile virus and mosquitoes have been migrating and running rampant in the United States and Central America, it is not a coincidence that Zika virus has found its way to the northeastern US and New York, in particular, in the middle of its mosquito season (the warm months of spring, summer, and autumn).
How does Zika affect us and how is it spread through mosquitoes?
The Zika virus affects pregnant women, as unborn babies are subject to sever birth defects including blindness, deafness, seizures and other congenital defects, and brain damage through microcephaly.
In adults with weak immune systems, especially older people, Zika can cause a temporary paralysis, called Guillain-Barré syndrome, and these symptoms: a fever (rarely higher than 102 degrees); a pink itchy rash; sensitivity to light; headaches and joint pains.
And because the virus is relatively new to the western hemisphere this is little to no one in the Americas that is immune to it causing its rapid pandemic.
The only good news so far is that about four in five victims have no symptoms, and most adults who do exhibit symptoms usually recover within a week.
The Zika virus can also be spread through unprotected sex, as the blood is what carries it.
Through biting victims with blood in their bodies, the mosquitoes through the ingestion of blood spread Zika and are the biggest transmitters of the virus.
It should be urged that pregnant women and their newborn children be tested if there is any possibility that they may have been in contact with Zika carrying mosquitoes.
Check with us at Rest Easy Pest Control if you need any extermination services or mosquito spraying here.
“Over 300 Zika Virus Cases in New York From Mosquitoes” was written by R.J. Huneke.