Mosquitoes have always been a dreaded part of our summer, especially since we look forward to sitting outside and enjoying the fresh air. There is nothing worse than having to fight them off and suffer the consequences if we are not successful. In today’s world, mosquitoes bring much more than just annoying itchy bites, they bring with them disease, and one that we hear about all the time: the Zika virus.
What is the Zika Virus and How Does it Spread?
Present in infected mosquitoes of the Aedes species, the Zika virus is easily spread through their bites. This not only causes infected people to become carriers, many don’t experience symptoms and are unaware that they are carriers. According to the CDC the virus is spread through a few channels:
- An infected mosquito that carries the Zika virus spreads it through bites
- A mosquito that becomes infected from biting an infected person, then in turn bites others and the disease continues to spread
- A pregnant women can pass on the virus to her child
- Sexually transmitted by males only
- Blood transfusions
Is the Zika Virus a Concern for North America?
The Zika virus was once considered to be regional—in regions far from North America—but as of 2016, the virus has spread internationally and has reached the U.S. There is concern for the rapid spread of the virus in the U.S., according to TIME Magazine.
How Can Portable Air Coolers Help?
Those pesky mosquitoes can swarm your outdoor barbecue, patio party or your relaxing dinner on your porch. Air Coolers have become extremely popular cooling units these days for outdoor use, and this is bad news for mosquitoes.
Air coolers have powerful cooling fans that expel air at a minimum rate of approximately 15 miles per hour. Here are a few examples: Honeywell CO30XE 63 Pt. Indoor/Outdoor Portable Evaporative, Honeywell CO60PM 125 Pt. Commercial Indoor/Outdoor, Honeywell CO70PE 148 Point Indoor/Outdoor Evaporative Air Cooler. But since mosquitoes are known to be weak fliers and can only fly at a maximum rate of 1.5 miles per hour, air coolers help provide some protection against mosquito bites, and therefore the Zika virus if you sit in close proximity to the powerful flow of the air cooler, and as long as you use it in combination with recognized mosquito repellents. Although an air cooler is not a complete solution for mosquito protection, it is a great and economical tool to combine with other deterrents to help protect against mosquito bites and the Zika virus.
Air Cooler Maintenance Tips for Additional Protection
Since air coolers rely on water to function and mosquitoes rely on water for breeding, the key is to prevent leaving any standing water in the unit and help keep mosquitoes from spreading the Zika virus. Here are a few tips:
- When you are not using your air cooler, even for just a day or two, empty any water from the bin
- When you go on vacation, double check that you have not left any water in the air cooler bin
- Leaving water in the bin while you are on vacation also creates the perfect environment for all sorts of bacteria to flourish that become air borne the next time you use your cooler
Stay cool and keep pesky mosquitoes away at the same time!