Tag Archives: vector borne disease

08

Oct

Julie Green

Chikungunya: An Update

Posted by Julie Green

It is hard to miss the headlines in the news when it talks about a new virus spread by mosquitoes, and even harder when those news reports have titles such as Third Case of Chikungunya Reported in Dallas County and Locally Acquired Chikungunya Has Arrived in Florida. It is enough to worry anyone who faces mosquitoes and let’s face it – that’s just about everyone.

We told you all about chikungunya virus in our blog post back in July and how 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. We wanted to give you an update on the virus, and remind you that while it is not lethal – it is something to be aware of because the virus has reported cases in 47 states.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of September 30, a total of 1,211 chikungunya virus disease cases have been reported in the United States. Eleven locally-transmitted cases have been reported from Florida, and that means the virus was not brought in from another country – it was acquired in Florida. When we discussed numbers in July, they were significantly lower.

The CDC assures us that Chikungunya is not lethal like other mosquito borne illnesses such as 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 or in a state that has a high number of cases such as New York, New Jersey or Florida, 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. Have you mastered the pronunciation yet?

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23

Sep

Julie Green

Women of Mosquito Joe: Serife Norfleat

Posted by Julie Green

If there is one thing we have learned it is that there are many misconceptions about women in the pest control industry! So while we could write a blog post about the pest control industry and why women are a good fit for Mosquito Joe, we thought there were a few people who could do a better job. In our blog series the Women of Mosquito Joe, we highlight the incredible women that are a part of the MoJo family and why it is no longer a man’s world!

This month we chatted with Serife Norfleat of Mosquito Joe of Cape Coral, FL. Serife and her fiance Buddy own their franchise together. Serife oversees the day to day operations of the business but is never afraid to get out there with her technicians. Mosquito Joe allowed Serife and her husband-to-be to relocate to Florida earlier than anticipated, so they’re enjoying the warmer weather. In the news these days in Florida it is hard to miss the articles about Dengue FeverWest Nile, and even the new (to the United States) virus from the Carribbean, Chikungunya. The services provided by Buddy and Serife make sure their customers are not only itch free, but also help protect them from these mosquito transmitted diseases.

What motivated you to get involved in Mosquito Joe?
We had just purchased a house in Cape Coral, FL and on our flight back home to Maryland we came across an article about Mosquito Joe in the Southwest Airlines magazine.  Mosquitoes love me and if there is one around it will make sure it attaches itself to me and bites!  This franchise sounded like the perfect opportunity for us, and it allowed us to move into our new home faster.

What’s your typical day during the season?   
I answer phone calls and schedule service for new customers. I make phone calls to current customers that we have recently sprayed to follow up with them on their service.  I always follow up with each new customer 1 week after the initial spray.  I send out reminders to customers who have an upcoming spray and call those customers that don’t have an email address.  At the end of the day I make sure that all invoices have been sent and then the very important job of having the routing optimized for the technicians for the next day of spraying.  Throughout the day I am answering questions that come in and looking for new ways to promote our business.

What are some of the most common questions you get asked by customers or potential customers?
People always want to make sure that it is safe for their pets, and since we target fleas and ticks too, we help get rid of pet itches too! They also generally ask how long they have to stay inside before going back out in their yard (only 30 minutes!) and how soon will they notice the results. I love being able to tell them they’ll see a difference in their mosquito population in just 24-48 hours.

Why is a Mosquito Joe business a good fit for women?
I love the fact that you are able to work from home.  You have flexibility which is very important if you have kids or loved ones that you also need to take care of.

What do you find most empowering about your job?
I love being that initial contact and explaining what we do and how we can help.  Then getting that phone call or seeing a review that is thanking you for helping them be able to enjoy the outdoors again is an awesome feeling.

Thanks Serife!

We’re so proud Serife and  Buddy are a part of the Mosquito Joe family. If you would like more information about Mosquito Joe of Cape Coral and their mosquito treatment services in Florida, be sure to check out their website and read more about what they offer. And if you’re interested in the Mosquito Joe franchise opportunity, we’d love to hear from you. You could be the next Woman of Mosquito Joe!

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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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