Many pet owners are now curious about their pets’ chances of contracting Zika, with Zika cases on an increase. According to public health officials in San Diego, 22 cases have been reported. This is the second-highest county of California. Officials expect an increase in cases due to increased travel in the summer and the potential risk from the Olympics in Brazil.
What is the Zika disease?
The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne infection that was first identified in Africa in the 1940’s. Within the past five year, there have been cases in Europe as well as the Americas. The disease has grown significantly since 2015, when it was first reported in Brazil. ArboNet reported that 1,824 cases had been reported in the United States, with 5% of them in California as of August 3.
How do you get the Zika virus?
According to the Health & Human Services Agency, it is mainly spread by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito- the same genus that has spread dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever. Most cases in the United States are caused by people who have been infected while traveling and then returning to their homes infected. Recently, however, infected mosquitoes were found in Florida.
The infection can also spread via sexual relations. An infected pregnant lady can pass it to her fetus.
Zika symptoms and health effects
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Zika symptoms can be mild. These are the symptoms:
Zika is not a disease. It’s a condition that causes symptoms. Symptoms usually disappear after a week. What’s all the fuss about Zika? There has been an increase in the number babies born with microcephaly, which is an abnormal small brain and small head. Experts now link this to the Zika virus.
Can Zika be transmitted from a pet to a person?
The CDC states that there is currently no evidence to suggest that animals are involved in the spread Zika virus. Additionally, there are no reports that pets or other animals have contracted the disease. Unfortunately, not enough research has been done to provide a definitive answer.
Is there a Zika virus vaccine?
There is currently no vaccine against the Zika virus. However, the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy has released their findings from animal research that suggest a vaccine is possible. The FDA recently approved the launch of a human vaccine research study. The results of the study are expected be released by the end the year.
How can I protect my pet and myself from Zika?
You can protect your pets and yourself by preventing the mosquitos from breeding. The Health & Human Services Agency of San Diego gives the following advice:
The public should continue to remember the “Prevent, Protect, Report” slogan that has guided the County’s fight against the West Nile virus.
Prevent mosquito breeding sites. Each week, empty and clean out all water containers inside and outside your home. Fill plant saucers with sand or fine gravel so water won’t form pools where mosquitos can breed.
Protect Avoid mosquito bites. When outdoors, wear long sleeves and long pants. Use DEET insect repellant. You should make sure that your screens are in good shape, have no holes or tears, and are securely secured to keep bugs out.
Report If you are being bitten during daylight hours by mosquitoes, or if the description of the yellow fever mosquito or Asian Tiger mosquito matches yours,