“Zika Virus is on the rise, and it’s only a matter of time before it comes to DC”

zika
“Fight the Bite” Kit distributed by the DC Department of Health

From an email:

“As you may be aware, the Zika Virus is on the rise, and it’s only a matter of time before it comes to DC. Here is a map of the areas projected to be affected: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/pdfs/zika-mosquito-maps.pdf.

Here is a list of recommendations from the CDC on mosquito control, http://www.cdc.gov/zika/prevention/controlling-mosquitoes-at-home.html, which includes the following:

  • Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out any items that hold water like tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpot saucers, or trash containers. Mosquitoes lay eggs near water.
    • Tightly cover water storage containers (buckets, cisterns, rain barrels) so that mosquitoes cannot get inside to lay eggs.
    • For containers without lids, use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito.
    • Use larvicides to treat large containers of water that will not be used for drinking and cannot be covered or dumped out.
  • Use an outdoor flying insect spray where mosquitoes rest. Mosquitoes rest in dark, humid areas like under patio furniture, or under the carport or garage. When using insecticides, always follow label instructions.”

36 Comment

  • Say goodbye to the honeybees. That stuff is very toxic to them.

    • +1. I’ll have to get good and scared before I’ll go the scorched earth route. Which is what a lot of these pesticides are.

    • +++++++
      I get up in arms when I read about the “natural” sprays derived from pretty flowers that are touted as gentle alternatives. Deritives from foxgloves, monkshood etc are natural, and deadly. You’ll kill [some of ] the mosquitos (that are present in your yard at that exact moment) along with everything else in your yard, your neighbors yard, your neighbors neighbors yard

  • Mosquitos are a major pain in DC, and they should be dealt with, but I wouldn’t freak out about Zika just yet.

    The CDC maps that are linked here and paraded around press conferences are not modeling Zika incidence, but the range of mosquitoes that could potentially transmit Zika. Those are mosquito maps, not Zika-infected mosquito maps.

    Check out the first map here for a more realistic map of Zika risk: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2-7-billion-zika-across-globe/

    To put things in context, Brazil suspects 5,000 cases of suspected Zika-related microcephaly last year, out of nearly 3 million births. thats a rate of roughly 1/700. These numbers are loose, but just keep in mind that this is the magnitude of risk for babies in the epicenter of this problem, with the optimal mosquito environment, and the public health infrastructure of a corrupt developing country.

  • “Zika Virus is on the rise, and it’s only a matter of time before it comes to DC”

    This statement is not corroborated by the US CDC, which states:

    “No local mosquito-borne Zika virus disease cases have been reported in US states, but there have been travel-associated cases.
    With the recent outbreaks, the number of Zika cases among travelers visiting or returning to the United States will likely increase.
    These imported cases could result in local spread of the virus in some areas of the United States.”

  • Reminds me to call and get my house/yard sprayed

  • 1. What do female condoms have to do with mosquito-borne illness? Is it because Zika is harmful to fetuses?
    2. I contributed to a crowd-funded product called Kite Patch like two years ago. Now would be a really good time for them to deliver what I was promised. (I know, I know, trials take ages.)

    • Ally

      Thank you! The female condoms made no sense in this context.

      • Really? I thought the contraception/Zika connection was fairly obvious — it just took me a moment to figure out that “FC2” must be a fema;e condom.

        • I guess. But it’s one of the least effective ones contraceptives out there; I don’t know anyone in the US who uses it (there being many better options). According to my own anecdata, for the very little its worth, IUDs have overtaken pills, though there are a few holdouts, and like one person prefers the ring.

          • I think your anecdata may be skewed toward your peers (married/partnered women with children) — the Guttmacher Institute shows IUDs as being #4 in the list of most commonly used contraceptive methods (behind the pill, tubal ligation, and the male condom).
            .
            https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/contraceptive-use-united-states

          • Yes, my study may have some sample issues… 😉

          • Well judging from the litter found on my street on Sunday mornings, someone uses them pretty frequently.

          • Female condoms are similar to effectiveness of male condoms for birth control – while both male AND Female Condoms are excellent at disease prevention (STI) which Zika is categorized as. While IUD’s and the pill are great at Birth Control the reason STI’s are at an all time high is due to BC methods that do not protect you from disease. The difference is Female Condoms are a great option for women to use and own the method as opposed to waiting for their partner to decide. Also can be placed ahead of time. A great option!

        • Ok, that got me curious and I looked it up. As of 2012, Guttmacher research doesn’t even have female condoms on its list. It goes down to .02% of contraception users using Plan B type medication, and doesn’t mention female condoms at all.
          Typical DC, spending money on something that a quick google search would show NOBODY WANTS.

        • I was a little unclear myself, because I’d only seen worries about Zika in the context of birth defects, so it was unclear why I’d want to use condoms if I was already on the pill. Clicking around the CDC website shows that it can be sexually transmitted (and the virus hangs out in semen longer than in blood); but also that (if you’re not pregnant) Zika virus amounts to having a summer cold (and appears to be generally less-bad than West Nile Virus), and once you get over it you probably won’t get it again and it doesn’t seem to have an impact on future pregnancies.
          .
          Unless the CDC is involved in a major conspiracy cover up.

          • I was nodding my head to all of this – until that last line. Then my face melted.

          • I didn’t realize it was sexually transmitted either.
            I guess we want to prevent people getting it, regardless of pregnancy risk or severity of symptoms, just to minimize the spread.

    • I think the condoms are to protect against sexually transmitted instances of the disease. While there are no locally acquired cases, there are 10 confirmed cases within the US of sexual transmission.

      Also, its probably a good idea to get condoms into the hands of people whenever possible!

      • I suspect it is standard DC DOH practice to distribute female condoms whenever they distribute male condoms, in part because of their usefulness for vulnerable populations. And yes, get the condoms out wherever and whenever!

      • Exactly Female condoms are similar to effectiveness of male condoms for birth control – while both male AND Female Condoms are excellent at disease prevention (STI) which Zika is categorized as. The difference is Female Condoms are a great option for women to use and own the method as opposed to waiting for their partner to decide. Also can be placed ahead of time. A great option!

    • Zika is also sexually transmitted.

    • Female condoms are similar in effectiveness as male condoms for birth control – while both male AND Female Condoms are excellent at disease prevention (STI’s) which Zika is categorized as. The difference is Female Condoms are a great option for women to use and own the method as opposed to waiting for their partner to decide. Also can be placed ahead of time. A great option! On a side note, if a pregnant women is with a partner that has been bitten, she can protect herself.

  • Who sent the email quoted above?

  • Don’t believe the hype #distraction

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