The recent possibility that a mosquito bite during pregnancy could be linked to severe birth defects in newborns has alarmed the public and astonished scientists.
There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika. The World Health Organization recommends population-wide measures for mosquito control as the best immediate line of defence.
Although fogging to kill adult mosquitoes provides the most visible evidence that a government is taking action, the World Health Organization stresses that the elimination of mosquito breeding sites is an effective intervention for protecting populations. Additionally, a vigorous spraying program will reduce mosquito populations.
Actionable precautions and treatments that people and communities can take are:
- The virus is spread through mosquito bites.
- About 1 in 5 people infected get sick.
- The virus can be transmitted through blood and sexual intercourse.
- The virus can be transmitted from a pregnant woman to her baby which may lead to microcephaly.
- Spray mosquitoes at dusk and dawn.
- Empty and clean containers that hold water.
- Protect windows and doors with screens.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, trousers and hats.
- Use insect repellent for clothing.
- Take medication for pain and fever.
- Drink water.
- Call a doctor.
Spraying as a solution
According to the World Health Organization, vector control is the only intervention that can reduce mosquito disease transmission from very high levels to close to zero at the community level.
Indoor residual spraying is effective for 3-6 months, depending on the insecticide used and the type of surface on which it is sprayed. DDT can be effective for 9-12 months in some cases. Longer-lasting forms of existing spraying insecticides, as well as new classes of insecticides for use in spraying programs, are under development.
The world-renown Hudson X-Pert® brand disease vector sprayer fully meets field operational requirements for manually-operated compression sprayers used in global and national disease vector control programs. Since 1950, Hudson X-Pert® brand sprayers have been used throughout much of the world as a part of disease eradication programs.
Hudson are advocates for public health programs which remove the threat to life and human well-being. Many diseases are transmitted to humans when a mosquito seeks a blood meal through a bite. We are proud to have been able to assist in the design, implementation and evaluation of indoor residual spraying campaigns for many national and private sector campaigns.