There’s been a lot of news about the Chikungunya virus since it was recently reported in our area. That’s because for the most part, mainland America has not been subject to it’s wrath, while in other parts of the world outbreaks are more common.
It first started showing up in the Caribbean about a year ago, and quickly spread to more than 20,000 cases. An alarming statistic for local mosquito control who are working to come up with strategy for combating a potential outbreak locally.
If you live in or around Naples, Fort Myers or Cape Coral it’s so important to us that you learn how to prevent mosquitoes from attacking your family with this debilitating disease.
Here’s what you need to know about this virus:
- Chikungunya (pronounced chik-en-gun-ye) comes from the African word that means to be bent over – that’s because if infected, it cripples it’s victims.
- Like the dengue virus, it’s spread by Aedes mosquitoes, who unlike many other mosquitoes, bite mainly during the daytime.
- The disease is not contagious. It can only be spread from mosquito to human and vice versa.
- Symptoms usually begin within 3-7 days after being bitten and include a fever with joint pain, usually in the hands and feet. You may also get a headache, severe muscle pain, joint swelling and rash. Most people feel better within a week.
- Doctors can test your blood to verify you have the virus, but there is currently no vaccine to prevent it.
How to prevent mosquitoes from transmitting diseases to your family:
- Use mosquito repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535 are are recommended. Apply to bare skin and clothing. Use mosquito netting to protect infants.
- Make sure you don’t allow pools of water to sit around your property. Aedes mosquitoes need only one capful (not a CUPful… a CAPful) of water to breed! Make sure you empty out any standing water around your home.
- If possible, wear protective clothing, including long-sleeved shirts, pants and socks.
Two additional solutions for home mosquito control are:
Larue’s Mosquito Reduction Program – this service runs from April to October and is designed to reduce the mosquito population right in your own yard.
MistAway Mosquito Misting System – provides immediate reduction of mosquitoes (as well as no-see-ums) during peak activity periods.
We hope this information helps you feel more prepared as we move into summer and the mosquitoes increase in numbers. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at (800) 314-8813 or schedule a free inspection with one of our friendly team members today!
Thanks and be safe!