Tag Archives: vector borne disease

18

Aug

Julie Green

What to know about Chikungunya and West Nile virus this month

Posted by Julie Green

We’re already halfway through the hottest month of the summer, but we’re also in the peak of another season that may not be on your radar: the season for mosquito borne illness. While the risk of mosquito borne illness is present whenever mosquitoes are, the heat of summer is when we start to see numbers really start to rise. This year, we’re not only seeing the reports of West Nile cases rising; we’ve got another one to watch as reports of Chikungunya fever continue to pop up across the country.

If you read our blog post in July about Chikungunya, you read about how the disease made its presence in the United States by travelers returning from the Caribbean. As of now, four locally transmitted cases have been reported in Southern Florida. While that brings concern primarily to mosquito control in Florida, researchers are worried about any area that contains the Asian tiger mosquito. The Asian tiger mosquito is the most aggressive and the most efficient at spreading the disease. The most common symptoms of chikungunya virus infection are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash.

West Nile numbers are also rising as it makes its presence known all over the country. As of August 12, a total of 40 states and the District of Columbia have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes. In the United States, 124 cases of West Nile virus in people have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine or cure for West Nile Virus so prevention is important. Most people who become infected (80%) don’t even display symptoms, but those that do have high fever, nausea, and aching with joint pain.

Awareness of the dangers of mosquito borne illness is the first step to a safer summer; however, you should take appropriate actions to protect yourself this time of year. We’ve provided mosquito control tips for your backyard in past posts, and encourage you to protect your yard from mosquitoes with a professional mosquito control treatment, but no matter where you are outside, make sure to wear long sleeves and pants to avoid bites. Take particular care during dawn or dusk (prime mosquito feeding times) and take care of those around you as well!

 

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09

Jul

Julie Green

Say It Three Times Fast: Chikungunya

Posted by Julie Green

If you have been paying attention to the news lately you have likely seen articles about Chikungunya virus. You’re probably wondering two things: 1) how to pronounce that word (Here’s a little help: chik-en-gun-ye), and 2) what it is.

Chikungunya is a new virus that is spread by…(you guessed it)…the mosquito. Until late 2013 the virus was only found in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Then it made its way to the Caribbean, where travelers began bringing it back to the United States. Confirmed cases had been reported in 30 states as of July 8, which is why it’s been hitting headlines over the past several weeks. Currently the virus is not actually being transmitted in the U.S., but the experts warn that these imported cases could result in local spread of the virus in the future.

The Centers for Disease Control Prevention assures us that Chikungunya is not lethal like West Nile, but it is something we would of course like to avoid. The most common symptoms of chikungunya virus infection are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash.

If you are traveling to a country where Chikungunya is transmitted by mosquitoes, take precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Wear long sleeves and avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active (dusk and dawn). If you’re interested in avoiding mosquitoes here at home, our barrier treatment sprays are a great way to keep your yard itch free. As always Mosquito Joe will keep you updated on all new information when it comes to Chikungunya, and good luck with that pronunciation.

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21

May

Julie Green

Lyme Disease Awareness Month

Posted by Julie Green

We’ve reached the season for enjoying the great outdoors (without bundling up that is) so it is time for cookouts, planning that camping trip you’ve been waiting to take, or just hanging out in the backyard.  What’s that old saying? April showers bring May flowers. Here in Virginia Beach that is definitely true. We had our fair share of rain so we are enjoying the sunshine and warm weather. But, May is also Lyme Disease Awareness month, and since all those fun activities I just mentioned might put you in areas where ticks live, it is the perfect time to remind you how serious Lyme disease can be. It may not be as exciting to talk about as your weekend plans, but it is something you should be aware of, especially if you live in an area where Lyme disease is common!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector borne illness (or disease transmitted to humans by ticks, mosquitoes or fleas) in the United States, with 22,014 confirmed cases reported in 2012. You may have read our blog post about ticks giving you helpful information on ticks, how to keep them out of your yard and how to remove one, but what is Lyme disease? How do you know if you have it?

If you have a tick bite and live in an area where it occurs, you should seek medical attention if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Red, expanding rash
  • Fatigue, chills, fever, headache, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes
  • “Bull’s Eye Rash” – occurs in approximately 70-80% of infected persons and begins at the site of a tick bite after 3-30 days (average is about 7 days). The rash gradually expands over a period of several days and can reach up to 12 inches across. Parts of the rash may clear as it enlarges, resulting in a “bull’s-eye” appearance. Rash usually feels warm to the touch but is rarely itchy or painful.

At Mosquito Joe, we take tick protection seriously even if it isn’t in our name! Our barrier sprays not only take care of mosquitoes, we eliminate ticks as well. So while May is a month when we’re looking forward to being outdoors and celebrating warm weather, don’t forget it is also Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Ticks are out and about enjoying the warm weather too, so if you are camping this weekend or lounging in the grass at a cookout, please make sure you check for ticks. Celebrate Lyme Disease Awareness and the approaching summer this month by calling and setting up a Mosquito Joe treatment to make sure ticks (and other biting insects!) don’t call your yard home.

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06

May

Julie Green

Lyme Disease Awareness Month

Posted by Julie Green

May is here, and within this spring month we get Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day – so many fun occasions that we are all excited to celebrate. But, did you know May is also Lyme Disease Awareness month? It may not make you as excited as a Memorial Day cook-out, or a lovely brunch with your mom, but it is something you should be cognizant of, especially if you live in a state where Lyme disease is prevalent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector borne illness (or disease transmitted to humans by ticks, mosquitoes or fleas) in the United States, with 24,364 confirmed cases reported in 2011. You may have read our blog post about ticks in February, giving you helpful information on ticks and how to keep them out of your yard, and how to remove one but what is Lyme disease? How do you know if you have it?

If you have a tick bite and live in an area where it occurs, you should seek medical attention if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Red, expanding rash
  • Fatigue, chills, fever, headache, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes
  • “Bull’s Eye Rash” – occurs in approximately 70-80% of infected persons and begins at the site of a tick bite after 3-30 days (average is about 7 days). The rash gradually expands over a period of several days and can reach up to 12 inches across. Parts of the rash may clear as it enlarges, resulting in a “bull’s-eye” appearance. Rash usually feels warm to the touch but is rarely itchy or painful.

When Mosquito Joe of Howard County’s Kurt Godwin in Maryland made the decision to open a Mosquito Joe, he had a very personal reason to do so. “My son had Lyme disease twice. Both times were frightening, and we didn’t know as much about the disease back then. Each time he developed the bulls-eye rash, and that was scary all by itself as it was a confirmation that he had been infected.  His symptoms were very similar to what most people get; he had fevers, aches, chills, and headaches. On both occasions, we were fortunate enough to catch it early and get medical treatment. Anything one can do to avoid the risk of Lyme disease is well worth the effort and cost.” Kurt is hoping to help others keep their families protected from Lyme Disease and other vector borne illness through his Mosquito Joe services which conveniently launch this month.

As we all make our plans this spring for warm weather, it is important to remember that mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks are not just annoying – they can pose serious health risks. The CDC has recommendations for how to avoid ticks in your yard, but MoJo can help you stop the problem before it starts. Celebrate Lyme Disease Awareness month by calling and setting up a barrier spray to make sure ticks (and other biting insects!) don’t call your yard home.

Photo from http://www.webmd.com

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