News about the Zika virus has been spreading rapidly in recent weeks as outbreaks in Central and South America continue to plague communities. The virus itself is most commonly spread by a number of mosquito species which carry the disease along with dengue and chikungunya.
What is Zika?
Zika virus is generally a fairly mild infection which causes fever, rashes, joint pain and red eyes; however, it can be particularly harmful to pregnant women and their babies, causing a number of severe birth defects. There is currently no vaccine or treatment available for Zika.
One of the biggest challenges of the current Zika crisis is that scientists are not sure exactly how long the disease stays active in a patient’s blood. However, it is possible for an uninfected mosquito to bite an infected individual and then spread the disease to other people. The only line of defense available is preventing mosquito bites altogether, even for people who have already been infected as they could be the starting point for additional outbreaks.
In order to prevent further spread of Zika virus in the United States, people are being urged to take care to avoid getting bitten by any mosquitoes. In general, this means using bug spray when going outdoors, keeping windows and doors closed, and avoiding areas of standing water where mosquitoes are most likely to breed and gather.
Air Conditioning as a Defense
Fortunately, the prevalence of air conditioning in the United States has been especially useful in preventing Zika infections. Since the disease is mostly relegated to the hottest, most tropical climates, the residents of those areas can help reduce their exposure to the disease by using their air conditioning during the warm spring and summer months instead of keeping doors and windows open. Preventing mosquitoes from entering your home will ensure that you don’t get bitten during their most active hours, or during the night while you are asleep and unable to protect yourself.
Currently, the vast majority of Americans, especially those living in southern states, have access to reliable air conditioning. As a result, the CDC believes that the U.S. can avoid any major Zika outbreaks by taking advantage of the technology available and keeping mosquitoes at bay. People who do not currently have air conditioning are encouraged to invest in AC units, even if only isolated to the one or two rooms of the house where you spend the most time.
Day & Night Air
If you and your family are ready to upgrade your air conditioning, or if your AC unit is in need of maintenance and repairs, Day & Night Air is happy to help you get your home properly cooled. Our team of expert technicians will ensure that your AC is working correctly and that your home is properly sealed to keep cool air in and mosquitoes out.