As the Rio Olympics rapidly approach one topic that everyone is talking about is the Zika Virus. The reason is because in May 2015 Brazil became ground zero with the first human infection of this outbreak. By today the virus has spread throughout South American and into North America. Now with it in the United States, we must endeavor to stop it’s spread.
Zika is a disease that was first identified in 1947 and named for the Zika forest in Uganda. The disease as appeared throughout Africa, Southeast Asia and Pacific Islands and now has come to the Western Hemisphere. It is spread through certain species of mosquitoes and sexual transmission from an infected male. Some common symptoms of the disease are fever, rash, red eyes, and joint pain. While the disease is rarely fatal, it poses a serious risk to unborn children. If a woman contracts Zika it can cause severe fetal brain defects and/or microcephaly. Microcephaly is when the head is smaller than those of other infants. This can lead to an impairing of brain development.
While the researchers at the University of North Carolina and Duke University work to better understand and fight the disease here are few things you can do to help control the spread of the disease. Share this advice with your neighbors and together you can help lower the mosquito population in your neighborhood.
Mosquitos breed in standing water, so if we want to reduce their numbers, then we have to eliminate their breeding grounds. Anything lying around that collects water is important to remove. This will help reduce the overall population and allow you to take back your yard. It is even suggested that you should empty out dog dishes and refill them daily to help reduce the chance of mosquito larvae. You should also remove any yard debris as they use the moisture held by leaves on the ground. A well-maintained yard goes a long way to help reduce mosquitoes, so protect your family and up your curb appeal all at once. Durham City and County residents are encouraged to dispose of old tires they may have in their yards to help prevent mosquito breeding during our Durham Tire Recycling Drive on Saturday, July 9th (see below).
For more information on the Zika Virus please check out the CDC website.
Durham Tire Recycling Drive
Durham Recycles Tires – Unlimited Free Tire Disposal for Non-Commercial Durham City and County Residents
We are encouraging residents to properly dispose of old tires and other items that may hold standing water to prevent mosquito breeding and the diseases they may carry. The Durham Tire Recycling Drive will take place on Saturday, July 9, 2016 from 8am-2pm at the City of Durham Waste Disposal and Recycling Center (2115 E. Club Blvd.)
The Tire Recycling Drive is a City-County Collaborative effort that includes Keep Durham Beautiful, The City of Durham Solid Waste Management Department, City of Durham General Services Department, the Durham County General Services Department and the Durham County Department of Public Health. Residents will be able to drop off unlimited tires (including tires with rims) for free during the event.
To learn more about mosquito diseases including Zika Virus and ways you can prevent mosquito breeding, visit the Durham County Department of Public Health’s website or check out our blog post about ways you can help fight the zika virus in your community.