Jokingly referred to in Florida as “the state bird”, mosquitoes in Florida are a fact of life. The Zika virus, however, is no laughing matter and the State of Florida Department of Health is warning all Floridians to take whatever measures necessary to prevent themselves from contracting this dangerous disease.
First discovered in the United States in 2015, the Zika virus is capable of causing devastating damage to unborn children in utero. Expectant mothers who are bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus risk giving birth to infants with birth defects, malformations and serious neurological problems.
Alarmingly, the World Health Organization has declared the outbreak of the virus to be an international health emergency and expects up to four million people to become affected worldwide within the next few years!
Although stopping the migration of Zika-carrying mosquitoes is nearly impossible, you can certainly take proactive measures to protect yourself and your community from them. Eliminating or reducing sources of standing water, remaining indoors after dusk, wearing long-sleeved, light-colored clothing and using insect repellent all certainly help, as does utilizing the convenience of retractable screens in order to enjoy the outdoors comfortably and with complete protection.