Mosquitoes cause more human suffering than any other organism, according to the American Mosquito Control Association.
As Zika virus spreads across Latin America and the Caribbean, it’s more important than ever to know how to protect yourself.
The Zika virus was first discovered in Uganda in 1947, and chiefly transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. It was first reported in humans in 1950s. Now the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the Zika virus is “spreading explosively” in the Americas and that as many as four million people could be infected by the end of 2016. There is no current vaccine to prevent the Zika and related mosquito-borne viruses.
About one in five people infected with Zika virus will develop symptoms, the most common ones being fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis or red eyes, muscle pain, mild headache. Symptoms can last several days to a week.
There is no specific treatment or vaccine to prevent Zika virus, so prevention is key. Because of the suspected link between Zika virus and microcephaly in newborns of mothers affected with the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued special precautions for pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant. The agency is advising these women to postpone travel to areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. And women who do choose to travel should talk to their doctor first and be vigilant when it comes to protecting themselves from mosquito bites.