Pets safe from Zika virus, but your family and home still need protection

Pets safe from Zika virus, but your family and home still need protection

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - There are 13 confirmed cases of the Zika virus in Georgia, and the Obama Administration spoke out again Tuesday, calling for action two months after asking Congress for nearly $2 billion to fight the virus.

It's normally transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito, but are your pets safe?

Not only is the Zika virus a concern to exterminators when homeowners inquire about it, but veterinarians locally are watching the possible threat of how the Zika virus effects your animals.

Families and pets normally hang out in their yards during the summer when mosquitoes are more present, but then there is the threat of the Zika virus.

"They are blowing our phones up. They want to know more about this virus, how they can prevent the virus from spreading around their homes especially with pets and small children," said Charles Lawhon of Knox Pest Control

While the Zika virus has been around for years in places like Africa, parts of Asia and recently Brazil, the U.S. is taking notice to this mosquito spread virus after some people were infected. That's why Knox Pest Control is ready to handle their customers' concerns.

"We started printing information out, educating our employees about the Zika virus. The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta tells us four out of every five people that contract the Zika virus get it from a mosquito bite and it's gotten people so scared today," said Lawhon.

Making sure the areas around your house are treated to prevent Zika is important, but what about protecting your pets and their living areas?

Dr. Hank Hall at Northside Animal Hospital says so far there are no reported cases of the Zika virus in small animals such as cats and dogs in the U.S. However, veterinarians are still keeping a close eye on the progress of the virus.

"We're always worried because the potential vector for that is the mosquito and of course we live in a mosquito endemic area here in the south with water and the river and stuff like that," said Dr. Hank Hall at Northside Animal Hospital.

The CDC says there is no evidence that the Zika virus can spread to people from contact with animals, but anything you can do to cut down the number of mosquitoes can help curb the fear of the catching the virus.

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