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Zika Virus, Mosquito Control and You

Posted: June 23, 2016

Zika virus has been in the news lately but fortunately, there have been no reports of Zika being spread by infected mosquitoes in the continental United States—only travel-associated cases have been reported here thus far.

Zika outbreaks have occurred in tropical Africa, Southwest Asia and Brazil. If you have recently traveled to the tropics, you may want to note the symptoms of Zika. These include fever, rash, joint pain, red eyes and headache. They begin three to twelve days after being bitten by an infected mosquito and the symptoms can last up to a week. There is no treatment for Zika…just get plenty of rest, drink fluids to prevent dehydration and take medication to reduce the fever and pain. For more information, visit the NJ Department of Health website.

In general, mosquitoes pose more of a nuisance problem than a disease threat. There are a few ways to protect yourself from mosquitoes:

* Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
* Use EPA-registered mosquito repellent during the day as well as at night and apply according to label directions.
* Use air conditioning, window screens and netting when indoors to prevent mosquitoes from entering home.

The Morris County Division of Mosquito Control offers the following tips to control mosquitoes around the home:

1. Dump all standing water from containers including kiddie pools, flower pots, garbage cans and tarps.
2. Clean out bird baths once a week.
3. Eliminate standing water and low areas on your property.
4. Clean the gutters on your house.
5. Use screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering the home.
6. Keep ditches and stormwater facilities free of debris.
7. Use fountains or fish in ornamental ponds.