Last year, the Zika virus stayed at the top of every news feed.

Headline after headline pushed Zika to the forefront on the news cycle in 2016 and made the virus one of the top health stories of the year. But once temperatures began to drop, and mosquito season came to an end, the attention faded.

Mosquito season is swiftly approaching, leading many of us to wonder if the Zika virus should be a cause for concern in 2017.

Well, here’s our quick rundown on this year’s Zika forecast: the virus will be the most threatening this year, when you should be concerned and how to protect yourself.

So, Is the Zika Virus Still a Threat?

Last November, The World Health Organization ruled that Zika was no longer a public health emergency of international concern, yet the virus continued to spread. Over 4,000 new cases were reported in the United States between the November ruling and January. Fortunately, none of these cases were linked to a local outbreak and were all travel related.

Latin American countries are also reporting lower than anticipated case numbers, proving mosquito control efforts are successful. The decline in reported infections is an excellent sign, but individuals should continue to practice preventative care.

How to Prevent Zika When Traveling?

The easiest way to prevent Zika infection is to avoid visiting affected regions. The virus is currently most prevalent in Latin American countries. If you must travel to these areas, wear a heavy insect repellent that’s registered with the Environmental Protection Agency. Continue to wear the repellent for at least two weeks after you return home.

The virus stays in a person’s bloodstream for 14 days, and if a mosquito bites a person with Zika in their blood, they will spread it to the next human they bite. Travelers should also wait at least six months before they engage in unprotected sex after visiting an affected region. The virus can persist in semen and along the vaginal tract for several months.

Preventing Zika in Your Backyard

The best way to protect your home and family from the Zika virus is through preventative pest control care. Contact your local pest control company for a mosquito treatment at your home.

Arrow Termite & Pest Control’s mosquito misting program utilizes the most effective insecticides to stop infestations early. Call us today for more information.