Friday, June 24, 2016

Mosquito Transmitted Diseases- from Aedes to Zika!

While news of the Zika virus is currently flooding the airwaves, other mosquito transmitted diseases in Minnesota continue to be present.
According to the MN Department of Health, “local Zika virus transmission is not a concern to Minnesota residents since the mosquito species that transmit the virus are not established in this state. However, individuals who travel to affected areas may become sick and should either consider delaying travel (particularly for pregnant women) or follow steps to prevent mosquito bites.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list 19 cases of Zika Virus in Minnesota as of June 15, 2016, all of these cases are described as: Travel-associated cases. (i.e. Travelers returning from affected areas, their sexual contacts, or infants infected in utero.)
CDC’s maps indicate that mosquitos carrying the disease are limited to the Southern United states but could reach Southern MN.
Zika virus disease (Zika) is a disease caused by the Zika virus, which is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections. (
Mosquito Transmitted diseases in Minnesota
  • West Nile Virus (WNV)
    West Nile virus is a disease transmitted to people, horses, and birds. It is the most commonly reported mosquito-transmitted disease in Minnesota. Most people infected with West Nile virus show no symptoms or flu-like symptoms, but some (primarily elderly) have more severe illness. West Nile virus was found in Minnesota in 2002 and will remain a public health concern in the foreseeable future. In 2014, 21 cases of WNV disease were reported in Minnesota.
Others types are as follows:

Preventing Mosquito Exposure
  • Reduce or eliminate mosquito breeding grounds (i.e., sources of stagnant or standing water).
  • Cover as much skin as possible by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks when possible.
  • Avoid use of perfumes and colognes when working outdoors.
  • Use an insect repellent containing DEET or Picaridin on skin that is not covered by clothing.
  • Choose a repellent that provides protection for the amount of time that you will be exposed. The more DEET or Picaridin a repellent contains, the longer time it can protect you.
  • Spray insect repellent on the outside of your clothing (mosquitoes can bite through thin clothing).
  • Do NOT spray insect repellent on skin that is under clothing.
  • After working, use soap and water to wash skin and clothing that has been treated with insect repellent.
  • Be extra vigilant from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active


Interim Guidance for Protecting Workers from Occupational Exposure to Zika Virus:
CDC Zika in the United States



By: Joe Ingebrand


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