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zika virus in world map
Smart, sensible precautions can mitigate the possibility of this threat spreading to South Florida

By now, you’ve probably heard about Zika, which gained a great deal of attention early this year as people started contracting the virus from mosquito bites in Latin American countries and dependencies. Up till now, avoiding it seemed relatively easy: just don’t go to the areas where it’s on the rise.

However, things could change. While all of the 154 cases reported in Florida thus far are believed to be the result of travel rather than local bug bites, mosquitos become more prevalent as the weather warms and the rainy season begins, and local health officials fear the virus may begin to make its debut on our own soil. Mosquito-borne pathogens like Zika have the potential to be a serious threat here in South Florida, where the weather allows mosquitos to survive year-round.

As scary as it sounds, there’s no need to panic. Before caution turns to irrational fear, you might want to know a little bit about how you can protect yourself and your family from the Zika virus. Common-sense protection begins in your home.

How is Zika spread?

Knowing how the virus is spread is the first defense in keeping safe. As you already know, Zika is considered a mosquito-borne virus. Mosquitos can transfer the virus from one person to the next as they feed. Seems normal enough — but how else is it spread?

Bodily fluids.

Mosquitos eat (you guessed it) blood, so they do their fair share in spreading Zika. But they aren’t the only thing sharing the virus. According to CBS News, blood transfusions can put people at risk, too. The virus can also be found in urine samples, saliva, and even breast milk. And unlike many other mosquito-associated viruses, Zika can be spread sexually. These methods of transmission raise particular concerns for anyone who is breastfeeding or sexually active. So if you or anyone in your family is traveling to a Zika-heavy area, take appropriate precautions.

How to protect yourself and your family:

If Zika-infected mosquitoes make their way to this area, there are more ways to protect yourself besides avoiding contact with infected bodily fluids or steering clear of heavily-infected regions. One of the easiest ways to prevent mosquitos from proliferating near your home is to dump out any stagnant bodies of water, as the pests need them to lay their eggs. Whether it’s your bird bath, a kiddie pool, or that flower pot you meant to use this past spring, any small or large pool of water can become a breeding ground for mosquitos, so empty them!

But that’s just the first step. According to another article on Zika by CBS News, “The best tactic is to apply and reapply insect repellent, day and night.” You can never have too much bug protection to prevent the bites that would be associated with an outbreak.

But, let’s be honest. It’s hard to constantly remember to coat yourself in spray before leaving the home, much less consistently reapply it — and even then, infected mosquitos could still make their way inside.

That’s why we recommend installing a mosquito misting system around your home. It will help keep the mosquitos at bay, both inside and outside, while additionally combating any potential spread of Zika or other mosquito-borne pathogens. Installed in your backyard, front yard, or both, it’s a proactive way to protect your family and your guests from both the possibility of Zika virus spreading in South Florida and the annoying bug bites that can harm your family or your pets.

If you’re interested in installing Platinum Mosquito Protection’s misting systems, learn more here and contact us today for a quote!

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