Zika Virus, Mosquitoes and Water | An Unhealthy Relationship

The Zika Virus, Mosquitoes and Water

An Unhealthy Relationship


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What is the Zika Virus?

The Zika Virus is a disease related to dengue, yellow fever, and the West Nile Virus. It is spread by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito or via sexual transmission.

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The Aedes Mosquito is in Every Continent Except Antarctica

The Zika virus has been found in:

  • Africa
  • Caribbean
  • Central America
  • Mexico
  • Pacific Islands
  • South America
  • Southeast Asia
  • United States

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Common Symptoms of the Zika Virus

Symptoms are usually mild and begin 3-7 days after being bitten.

  • Fever
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Rash
  • Red eyes
  • Birth defects

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Why Should We be Worried

Zika is linked to microcephaly, the development of unusually small heads and brain damage in newborns.

Zika is linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome, an autoimmune disease caused by the body’s immune system mistakenly attacking the nervous system.

Few in the Western Hemisphere have an immune defense against the virus.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Zika an international public health emergency.

30 countries have been identified as travel threats to pregnant women.

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Water—Where the Problem Begins

Mosquitoes breed in standing (stagnant) water found in:

  • Containers (flowerpots, cans, tires)
  • Freshwater lakes and ponds
  • Freshwater swamps and marshes
  • Flooded areas
  • Stormwater and wastewater retention areas

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Water—Where the Solution Starts

Mosquito abatement starts by keeping water clean.

  • Empty, drain, or cover anything that can hold water
  • Eliminate standing water in pots, buckets, barrels, tires, yards, pools
  • Ensure proper drainage around homes and businesses
  • Clean bird baths regularly
  • Repair outside leaks
  • Chlorinate swimming pools
  • Unclog rain gutters and drains
  • Aerate the water in your fountains, ponds and lakes.

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Additional Blog Posts of Interest

Global Explorers: Navigating Climate Data [Free eBook]

Hypoxia, The Silent Killer You Need to Understand

The Evolution of Water Quality Monitoring [Free eBook]

Harmful Algal Blooms | What's In Your Source Water?

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