Recent Phenomenon: Understanding the Zika Virus

understanding zika virus symptomsThe “Zika” virus has been quite the phenomenon lately going around the world. Understanding it can help you stay in the loop and make sure you are out of harm’s way.

Exactly what is the “Zika” virus?

It is a virus that occurs from the result of mosquitoes that carry the virus. This virus has been reported to cause these symptoms:

• Fever
• Rash
• Red eyes (conjunctivitis)
• Joint pain

The symptoms being to appear roughly two weeks after exposure to the virus. However, it is estimated that 80% of those infected do not even experience any symptoms.

Pregnant women that contract this virus are at risk of having children born with a disorder known as microcephaly, as well as other Zika-induced birth defects. Pregnant women are at the most risk, but non-pregnant women may still experience the symptoms above.

Where is the virus currently?

The virus has been spreading across the globe, with a few cases occurring in the United States as a result of those traveling from outside the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a travel warning for pregnant women to the following places:

• South America
• Central America
• Mexico
• Caribbean
• Puerto Rico
• Pacific Islands

The list is updated often so if you are pregnant and plan on traveling soon, view this list first.

How can I prevent this virus?

The best way to prevent this virus at this time is to avoid traveling to the locations that are at risk as specified the CDC. Currently, there is no vaccine or treatment developed for the Zika virus.

Also, if you do decide to travel to an affected area, it is strongly recommended that you invest in insect repellant and follow the manufacturer’s directions.