Experts Urge Caution as Zika Virus Spreads

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The National Pest Management Association advises the public to take
action against mosquitoes now to avoid problems later

FAIRFAX, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As concern over Zika virus, an emerging mosquito-borne disease,
continues to grow, the National
Pest Management Association (NPMA)
is urging the public to take
precautions now to help curb problems during the warmer months when
biting mosquito populations tend to increase.

“We recognize that local vector transmission of Zika virus has yet to be
confirmed in the continental U.S., but the number of reported
travel-related cases continues to increase,” said Cindy Mannes, vice
president of public affairs for the NPMA. “We are monitoring the
situation closely and working to help educate the public on ways to not
only avoid contact with mosquitoes when traveling to regions where the
disease is present, but also how they can eliminate breeding grounds at
home as spring and summer approaches.”

Zika virus causes mild flu-like symptoms in about 20 percent of infected
people, but the main concern among leading health organizations centers
on a possible link between the virus and microcephaly, a birth defect
associated with underdevelopment of the head and brain. The World Health
Organization (WHO) recently declared Zika virus a global health
emergency.

“Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent Zika virus or medication to
directly treat it, so those who experience symptoms should get plenty of
rest, stay well hydrated and take acetaminophen for pain,” noted Dr.
Jorge Parada, medical advisor for NPMA and infectious disease
specialist. “The best way to avoid contracting Zika virus and other
mosquito-borne diseases is to take preventive measures when spending
time outdoors.”

The NPMA suggests the following mosquito prevention tips:

  • The type of Aedes mosquito that carries Zika virus is a daytime
    biter, so people should take steps to protect their skin from mosquito
    bites at all times of the day by applying an insect
    repellant containing at least 20% DEET, picaridin or oil of
    lemon-eucalyptus. Also, consider wearing long pants, long-sleeved
    shirts and closed-toe shoes.
  • Mosquito-borne diseases that may be rare in the U.S. are common in
    many foreign countries, so anyone traveling outside of the country
    should be aware of travel advisories currently in effect. If a person
    falls ill upon returning home, seek prompt medical attention.
  • Homeowners should eliminate areas of standing water around the
    property such as flowerpots, birdbaths, baby pools and grill covers.
    Mosquitoes need only about a half an inch of water to breed. It’s also
    recommended to screen all windows and doors, and patch up even the
    smallest tear. If there are concerns about mosquito activity, contact
    a licensed pest control company or the local mosquito abatement
    district.

The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was
established in 1933 to support the pest management industry’s commitment
to the protection of public health, food and property. For more
information, visit
PestWorld.org.

Contacts

Vault Communications, Inc.
Amanda Polyak, 610-455-2764
apolyak@vaultcommunications.com