What is this Virus and Where did it come from?

Zika is a disease caused by Zika virus that is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika.

The Zika virus belongs to Flaviviridae and the genus Flavivirus, and is thus related to the dengueyellow feverJapanese encephalitis, and West Nileviruses. Like other flaviviruses, Zika virus is enveloped and icosahedral and has a nonsegmented, single-stranded, positive-sense RNA genome. It is most closely related to the Spondweni virus and is one of the two viruses in the Spondweni virus clade.[16][17]

There are two lineages of the Zika virus: the African lineage, and the Asian lineage. Phylogenetic studies indicate that the virus spreading in the Americas is most closely related to the Asian strain, which circulated in French Polynesia during the 2013 outbreak. The complete genome sequence of the Zika virus has been published. Recent preliminary findings from sequences in the public domain uncovered a possible change in nonstructural protein 1 codon usage that may increase the viral replication rate in humans.

What are the symptoms of Zika?

About 1 in 5 people infected with Zika will get sick. For people who get sick, the illness is usually mild. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected.

The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Symptoms typically begin 2 to 7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

How is Zika transmitted?

Zika is primarily transmitted through the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes, the same mosquitoes that spread Chikungunya and dengue. These mosquitoes are aggressive daytime biters and they can also bite at night. Mosquitoes become infected when they bite a person already infected with the virus. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other people through bites. It can also be transmitted from a pregnant mother to her baby during pregnancy or around the time of birth. We are studying how some mothers can pass the virus to their babies.

What are the affects of Zika once contracted?

Most people who contract Zika do not experience noticeable symptoms and do not feel "sick". Most people have no symptoms at all. In a previous outbreak of Yap, 77% with Zika present in their blood stream were never ill.

People who do experience symptoms have an itchy red rash, fever, headache, and inflamed eyes. People typically recover in 2 to 7 days, and death in these cases is uncommon.

Zika infection is usually mild. Unfortunately, the virus has two uncommon but severe complications that make it a menace to public health. The Zika outbreak in French Polynesia was associated with a twenty-fold increased risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome. This is an autoimmune disease, often triggered by infections, in which the immune system attacks the myelin lining of nerve cells, resulting in widespread weakness and paralysis. Weakness and paralysis spread from the legs upward. Two-thirds of patients lose the ability to walk, and 25% need to be put on a mechanical ventilator because of weakness of the respiratory muscles. Although most people make a partial or full recovery, 20% are still unable to walk at 6 months after diagnosis.

For more information on this topic head over to Harvard Medical School's blog on the subject.

Sound science leads to right solutions.

Insects and DEET, What You Need to Know:

DEET was developed in 1944 by the United States Department of Agriculture for use by the United States Army, following its experience of jungle warfare during World War II. It was originally tested as a pesticide on farm fields, and entered military use in 1946 and civilian use in 1957. It was used in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. Mosquitos and other insects can cary virus's such as dengue, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, West Nile viruses and Zika. It has generally been accepted that the best way to prevent the contraction and spread of these diseases is to avoid contact with the insects that transmit them. DEET works by confusing insect sensory organs, making it difficult to identify and lock in on likely hosts, which include humans. Recent research by The Rockefeller University and Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology has furthered our understanding of DEET and how it interacts with insect olfactory neurons and how it limits their ability to process the odor information they depend on to select host candidates. DEET has a proven track record as an affective, safe option for personal protection from insects.


If you want to keep away blood-sucking insects, DEET products are your best bet according to a recent study from New Mexico State University. Personal insect repellants containing DEET are one of the best options for protecting you and your family against insects and the diseases that they cary. When the US military began using DEET during World War II, they chose an aerosol delivery system as the best option to deliver product to US servicemen. Aerosols still remain one of the best ways to use and apply insect products. Aerosols deliver an expected dose of products with safety and accuracy. They are sealed air tight and eliminate the possibility of reduced effectiveness through reactivity or contamination.

Is DEET Safe?

About 30% of the US populations uses insect repellant products each year. It is estimated that more than 200 million people apply DEET to their skin each year. DEET, which has an established 50 year plus track record as being safe for humans to use in protecting themselves from insects. Recent studies have found that there is no significant health risk posed by the use of DEET products and that their role in reducing the risk of infectious diseases far outweighs potential risks of use. DEET insect repellants can be purchased in varying concentrations, up to 100%. Doctors recommend using DEET products in concentrations from 20%-50%. 

DEET Alternatives:

There are several other options to choose from in keeping those nasty bugs aware from you and your family. Over the past several years, the industry has began to offer a whole host of alternatives to DEET in bug sprays. They include: Picaridin, Oil of lemon
eucalyptus,IR3535, soybean,lemongrass, cedar and citronella oils. These ingredients have been shown to be effective in repelling certain bugs and flying insects. Only you can decide what products are right for you and your family. We recommend using products with proven track records and support from established good science.


Aerosols are a great way to use and apply insect repellants, bug killers and other products. There is often confusion about aerosols and safety for consumer use. Aerosols work by pressurizing products within a sealed container, which are then dispensed by depressing the tip or actuator. The design of aerosol products protect the material inside from outside contamination and contact with air, allowing for longer shelf life and reducing the chance of losing product effectiveness over time. The ability to deliver product in a reliable controlled spray helps the consumer to target use and cut down on waste when applying.

Aerosols are safe for the environment, they do not contain substances which hurt the ozone layer. The gas used to pressurize aerosols are similar to other products americans use with confidence every day.LPG propellants, similar to the propane used in your back yard grill

The companies involved in selling major aerosol brands are committed to sustainability and carbon reduction. Aerosols are extremely recyclable and can be recycled when empty. For more information about aerosol recycling please visit CAPCO's excellent page on the subject.



  • No vaccine exists to prevent Zika virus disease (Zika).
  • Prevent Zika by avoiding mosquito bites
  • Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus bite mostly during the daytime.
  • Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus also spread dengue and chikungunya viruses


According to the US Centers for Disease Control, Preventing mosquito bites is the best approach to avoiding the effects if Zika. Select products that are safe and effective. There are a variety of products forms available in selecting these products. Liquids, pumps and lotions are effective modes of delivery. Aerosols are the best method to deliver the active ingredients that stop bugs in their tracks, and allow you and your family to feel safe. Aerosols are sealed for safety and will not spill accidentally. They are extremely shelf stable, function close up and at a distance, and are recyclable when empty. When it comes to a good strategy to protect you and your home for mosquitos and other insects, use a twofold approach. Use sprays that kill insects such as yard foggers and parameter sprays to reduce the chance of unwanted guests entering your home environment. Follow up with personal sprays containing DEET or natural oils such as eucalyptus, geraniol, lemongrass or permethrin.


When roaches, ants and other pests chew or walk on objects sprayed with bug spray, the chemicals in the spray are ingested or absorbed through the skin. These pyrethroid chemicals stop bugs virtually instantly, producing what is known as a "knockdown effect," where the bug is put out of commission very quickly. Within the insect's body, these chemicals prevent nerves from transmitting impulses or signals, resulting in paralysis of all major systems, which leads to a quick death.


While bug sprays used in the home are designed to kill bugs, sprays used on the body are designed to confuse them. Bug repellent sprays help keep mosquitoes from biting, and rely on one of four main ingredients, including DEET, Picaridin, IR3535 and lemon eucalyptus oil. Without bug spray, mosquitoes use their strong sense of smell to find their victims based on scents like lactic acid and carbon dioxide. When you spray yourself with a bug repellent, you confuse the insect's sense of smell enough that it can't successfully land on you and bite your skin, allowing you to enjoy your time outdoors.