Summer is Here! So is Zika!
We have all seen the news reports on and off since last year about the Zika outbreak in Brazil and its spread throughout the Caribbean and US Territories. Well, it is officially here in the lower 48 states and there are some things everybody needs to know and take seriously in order to avoid being infected by or spreading the disease. OSHA, USEPA and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) have web sites with lots of information and guidelines to help people protect themselves and their loved ones from the virus.
Are there actually ZIKA cases here in the US?
Yes. The CDC has a web site that identifies the reported cases by state. Bottom line is that there are few states without reported cases. But, remember, these are “reported” cases and does by no means indicate the actual number of cases out there. States with no reported cases may actually have people who are infected that have gone unreported. Is this a scare tactic? Yes. We are dealing with a new disease and with new data that is still being compiled and studied. We should take the warnings and precautions offered by the agencies seriously to avoid uncomfortable future conversations regarding Zika Virus infections and pregnancy.
Can the Virus Spread from Person to Person?
Yes. However, this is where some scientists disagree on all the facts and are still investigating cases and modes of transmission. An uninfected mosquito that bites an infected person can become infected itself, and then spread that virus to an uninfected person. The CDC has a web site that shows the [known] range for the mosquitos [most likely] to spread the disease. However, as we have seen with other disease vectors that factors like climactic changes and our ever-traveling human race can promote the spread of certain diseases to other uninfected areas. And besides, mosquitos don’t carry signs that say what kind they are, and last time I looked I could not differentiate between a Culex quinquefasciatus, Aedes albopictus or a Aedes aegypti. ….. I can’t even say these words!.......