The spring air has settled over Atlanta, and summer waits on the horizon. As the temperatures rise, the heat and humidity will create the ideal environment for mosquitoes. These pests have been a topic of concern recently as the Zika virus makes its way into the United States. According to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, health officials believe that this virus will hit Georgia.

What Makes Atlanta a Target for Zika?

Because of Atlanta’s humid weather, mosquitoes have the right amount of heat and moisture to breed and thrive. In addition, the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport ranks as the busiest airport in the world, bringing people into contact with others who may have the infection. Although Georgia currently doesn’t have a documented case, the likelihood for contracting this mosquito-transmitted virus is high.

What Exactly is Zika?

Like the West Nile virus, Zika is a viral infection that is spread from mosquitoes to humans. However, a person who has an active infection can spread it to someone else during sex. The symptoms of Zika include fever, joint pain and red eyes, but they only last for a couple days or a week. Health officials say that death from Zika is rare, and those who have the infection may build up an immunity to future infections.

Zika poses little danger to people, but this virus is linked to thousands of birth defects in Latin America. Therefore, pregnant women should avoid all contact with mosquitoes or traveling to areas where the Zika virus is out of control.

How Do You Prevent Zika?

Because there’s no vaccine, it’s important to take preventative measures when going outside in Atlanta. Zika-infected mosquitoes feed mostly during the day, so wearing pants and long-sleeved shirts can help prevent bites on your arms and legs. Other ways to prevent mosquito bites include:

  • Using an approved insect repellent
  • Staying within a screened patio when outside
  • Sleeping under a mosquito net if traveling abroad
  • Having professional pest control services treat your yard

Mosquitoes breed in areas where standing water is present. By flipping over empty containers, you can avoid creating breeding grounds on your property. Turn over wheelbarrows, bring in empty flower pots and cover old tires to prevent standing water after it rains. You can also use a mosquito misting system to combat and prevent large infestations.

Prevention is the Best Tool to Fight Zika

Though the virus has yet to take hold in Atlanta, health officials believe it’s simply a matter of time. By covering your exposed arms and legs, using a repellent and fighting mosquitoes with a MosquitoNix misting system, you can prevent an infestation and reduce you and your family’s chance of contracting the Zika virus this summer.