Posted By SafeGuard Pest Control Administrator As was recently reported in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the official total for confirmed cases of those having contracted the Zika virus in Pennsylvania stood at 11, while two cases had been confirmed in NJ. Although 11 cases had been confirmed, over 200 people were still waiting for their test results to be processed which can take upwards of two weeks.
WHAT IS ZIKA?
Zika is a virus usually contracted through bites from infected mosquitoes. The Zika virus is similar to that of Dengue and Chikungunya, which are other diseases spread by the same species of mosquitoes that transmit Zika, known as the northern house mosquito (Culex pipiens), which is one of the two types of mosquitoes most often found in Pennsylvania.
According to health experts, most people do not know they have Zika, which generally results in fever, rash, headaches, and joint/muscle pain. The illness typically lasts several days to a week.
However, while symptoms of the illness are generally mild, recent studies are finding that Zika can severely damage the brains of unborn children, while causing brain infections in adults as well as spinal cord swelling leading to extensive damage to the nervous system.
Although the Zika virus is mainly transmitted through direct contact with infected mosquitoes, the virus may also be spread from mother to child, blood transfusions, and through infected men and their male sex partners.
According to the CDC, anyone living in an area where the virus is found who has not yet had the illness, is susceptible to contracting Zika. Studies indicate that those contracting Zika are immune to future infection.