Mosquitoes in the Valley have been known to carry various viruses like Chikingunya, Dengue and Yellow Fever. Zika comes from that same family of viruses. The Zika Virus has become widespread, not only in mosquitoes across the US, but specially, the Valley.
“So the species being Aedes, Aedes Aegyptis, is what concerns us because those are the kinds of mosquitoes that you will find anywhere in South Texas,” said Brownsville Health Director Art Rodriguez:
And the adverse symptoms your body will feel from the Zika virus are none too thrilling.
“It has different effects,” said Rodriguez. “It causes join pain, fevers, and according to researchers, they’re now finding that it has an effect in pregnant women. It impacts a child and their brain development.”
So you might be wondering how a mosquito species native to South America made its way to the US.
“They’re in this atmosphere now because now our mode of transportation is really fast through international flights so it’s very easy to cross into South America, Central America and North America,” said Rodriguez.
But there are ways to protect yourself against these bloodsucking critters so that you don’t contract the virus.
Right now I’m already using two of the primary preventative measures that the Brownsville Health Department says you should take into order to avoid these mosquitoes. Now that would be staying in doors, especially during the hours of dusk and dawn, and then of course, making sure you have some bug repellent to avoid those mosquitoes.
“Dress appropriately because they’re going to be out at dusk and dawn,” said Rodriguez. “And around 100 meters of their property, empty out standing water.”