• Zika Virus, Australia and Pest Control for Mosquitoes

  • There has been a lot of talk about the Zika Virus lately, especially right now as we are expecting Australians to return from The Games in Rio, Brazil.

    The Zika Virus was first discovered in 1947 and is named after the Zika Forest in Uganda.

    The Zika virus is spread most commonly through mosquitos and through sexual intercourse with someone who is infected with Zika and is also transferred from a pregnant woman to her foetus.

    Symptoms of Zika

    Many people who become infected with the Zika virus often will only have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.

    The most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain, red eyes, muscular pain or headaches.

    Lasting only a few days or up to a week, these symptoms are not severe enough to prompt people to go to hospital and people very rarely die from this virus. Once someone has been infected with Zika, they are likely protected against future infection.

    The Real Risk of Zika

    If Zika is contracted during pregnancy, it has the real possibility to cause a birth defect known as “microephaly” which causes a defect in brain development. Because the head grows during pregnancy to accommodate a developing brain, a baby with Microcephaly will have a smaller head and look disproportionate to the face.

    The virus has also caused other defects to sight, hearing and impaired growth.

    The Potential of Zika in Australia

    To attract tourists to the Olympic Games in Rio, the Brazilian Government has allowed Australian passport holders to enter the country without needing a visa to combat the cautious outlook of travellers after the Zika outbreak in Brazil.

    Because people often don’t realise they are infected with the Zika virus, there may be a flow of travellers returning from Brazil from the Olympics carrying the Zika virus.

    Whilst this is not cause for panic, it does call for caution.

    Maxwell Robinson & Phelps recommend being vigilant against mosquito bites over the first month or two after the games. These measures may include:

    • Eliminating still water sources around your home
    • Mosquito netting over your bed
    • Wearing mosquito repellent
    • Installing bug zappers around main entry points of your home
    • Consider a residual spray around your home from a professional pest control company