September 13, 2016/in Environmental News /by Sage Island

At Applied Resource Management, we pay close attention to various topics and problems that concern the environment. While most of our services relate to energysoil studies, and well drilling, our interests don’t begin and end there. We’re also concerned with things that threaten our world, and lately that includes the Zika virus.

For the last few months, people all over the world have been worried about Zika. Zika is a virus that is spread through the bite of an infected species of mosquito. Unlike the mosquitos we’re used to, this species bites in the daytime and is much more aggressive than others. While the Zika virus itself isn’t deadly—in most cases, it causes only mild symptoms, such as fever, rash, joint pain, and headache—it can have dire consequences for pregnant women, causing severe birth defects. Another problem with Zika is that in addition to catching it from a mosquito bite, it can also be sexually transmitted. This puts both men and women at risk.

While there have not yet been any cases of Zika contracted in North Carolina, there have been a number in Florida and South America. People who travel to these areas are also at risk of contracting it and bringing it home with them.

There are currently no vaccines or medicines for Zika, and the long term effects have yet to be studied. In the meantime, the best thing we can do is protect ourselves from contracting the virus. Below are a few tips that will help keep you and your loved ones safe.

  1. Get rid of standing water. Mosquitos reproduce in standing water, so don’t let water accumulate in your yard or on your property. Each week, empty or get rid of cans, buckets, plant saucers, wheel barrows, and anything else that might be holding water. If you have an unused well on your property, it’s a great idea to have it properly sealed by an environmental professional such as Applied Resource Management, as it will quickly become a breeding ground for insects.
  2. Cover exposed skin with long-sleeved shirts and pants. In the hot summer months, it’s natural to wear shorts and tank tops. While these outfits will keep you cool, they won’t protect you from mosquito bites. Whenever possible, keep your skin covered. The best defense is a good offense!
  3. Use EPA-registered insect repellent that contains DEET. When it comes to protecting our health, we sometimes have to make certain compromises. One of those is the use of DEET. While all-natural repellents have their place, a potential Zika outbreak isn’t one of them.
  4. Stay in places with AC and window screens to keep mosquitos out. This suggestion may seem obvious, but it’s worth stating. If you have an outdoor porch you love, the threat of mosquito bites is a great excuse to screen it in and protect yourself from unwelcome guests. 
  5.  If you are currently or plan to become pregnant, avoid traveling to areas experiencing a Zika outbreak. While anyone can contract Zika, women of child-bearing age are at the greatest risk, due to the high likelihood of birth defects caused by the virus. If you or someone you love falls into this category, the solution is drastic but clear: don’t travel to areas in the midst of an outbreak. While a vacation to Brazil or Florida sounds nice, it’s simply not worth the risk right now.

If you think you have Zika, see your healthcare provider or doctor immediately to make sure you protect yourself and others from this virus. If you want to protect yourself against Zika and mosquitos in general through clean water and a sealed well, contact Applied Resource Management today.