The blizzard reports on the news may make it seem like we’re in for a neverending winter, but spring is coming…and you’d better be prepared.
Once the air warms, the ice thaws, and the snow melts, you’ll be left with the perfect breeding ground for mosquitos — and this year’s bugs might be the worst yet.
Mosquitoes from Brazil are carrying the deadly Zika virus, which can cause birth defects in babies and a crippling nervous system disorder in adults, and they’re hightailing it to America.
“I think [the Zika virus] is going to be knocking on the doorstep in places like Florida and Texas probably in the spring or summer,” Scott Weaver, director of the Institute for Human Infections and Immunity at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, told Vox News.
Yes, my friend, it’s coming — and unlike other skeeter bites, these won’t just itch.
The bloodsuckers can transmit the virus that causes a devastating and painful condition in which your immune system attacks your nervous system, known as Guillain-Barré syndrome.
It can lead to disability… paralysis… and even death.
One leading expert in Brazil, currently Ground Zero in the Zika war, told the New York Times that being infected with this virus will increase your Guillain-Barré risk by 20 times.
That’s the newest risk of mosquitoes… but it’s hardly the only risk. West Nile is still out there, causing thousands of illnesses and hundreds of deaths in the United States in just the last few years alone — and seniors are particularly at risk.
Some mosquitoes are even spreading the horrific chikungunya virus, which can cause crippling pain that lasts for months.
It’s impossible to avoid mosquito bites altogether. Even if you marinate yourself in DEET (if you can take it), some mosquitoes have learned to avoid it.
Your best bet is to get rid of all sources of standing water around your home — and get your neighbors to do the same. Give them fewer places to breed, and you’ll have fewer bugs buzzing around you.
Before you step outside during mosquito season, stock up on citronella and make sure all your window and door screens are secured and don’t have any holes in them. And if you’re the outdoorsy type, wear long pants and long sleeves, get some mosquito repelling gear, and invest in a mosquito bed net.
That should keep those little needle-nosed vampires away for the most part.