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Has the Zika Scare Returned?

The great Zika scare has reemerged in the news with a whimper rather than a bang. Fox News reports that a Texas man has been diagnosed with the mosquito-borne illness, and it is the first case this year.  Certainly, it is not fair to downplay his diagnosis but it is worth remembering the scale of the Zika hysteria just one year ago. 

Zika was an obscure mosquito-borne virus until the media fanned the flames of fear. The threat of Zika resonated because it was tied to visible birth defects, is mosquito-borne, affects pregnant women and can be sexually transmitted. 

Little attention has been paid to Brazilian health officials walking back their worst-case scenarios and conceding that Zika alone was not responsible for their country’s rise in birth defects. Unsettling images of Brazilian babies with microcephaly drove Zika into the headlines, but it is the organophosphate pesticides that were widely sprayed in the “fight” against Zika that have been linked to developmental issues in infants.

Many experts agree that the threat of an epidemic outbreak of Zika virus on continental U.S. soil is virtually nonexistent. So you needn’t go dousing your backyard in chemicals in an attempt to stay safe from the Zika virus (whose connection to birth defects is still being explored). If however, mosquitoes are bothersome for you, there are some steps you can take to encourage them to live elsewhere.

If, however, mosquitoes are bothersome for you, there are some steps you can take to encourage them to live elsewhere. Draining standing water, including pet bowls, gutters, garbage and recycling bins, spare tires, bird baths, children's toys and so on, is important. This is where mosquitoes breed, so if you eliminate standing water you'll eliminate many mosquitoes.



 
 
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