The Zika virus took people by storm. It is an illness most often seen distributed by mosquitoes. Some of the symptoms are fever, rash, and headaches. In more severe cases, muscle pain, conjunctivitis, and joint pain could occur. Also, the virus can be spread by having unprotected sex with someone who is infected.
When people first heard about the Zika virus there were many questions.
- What are the symptoms?
- What will happen to my health if I catch it?
- How dangerous is the virus for pregnant women?
- Can you get it through sex?
- Where is it most common?
A simple answer to those questions is the virus can be prevented by covering the body in long clothing, using bug spray, and engaging in protected sex. Taking the proper steps to prevent the virus will make it harder to catch.
Treatments Available For the Zika Virus
Some of the treatment methods used for the Zika virus are sleep and acetaminophen, which will ease any pain and/or a fever. Care providers may suggest more options if needed. If caring someone infected by the virus, the caregiver must be protected, in case of contact with the person’s bodily fluids or blood. Make sure to maintain a the standard of cleanliness by washing hands before and after treating the infected person, this will protect against germs. Further protection includes immediately wash clothes afterward and clean all surfaces surrounding the ill person.
Areas Where Zika is Most Common
Reports of the Zika virus have been made around the continental United States, including Florida, and Texas, three of American territories. Other locations are in Asia, South and Central Americas, and the Pacific and Caribbean Islands.
In the United States, 216 mosquito-borne viruses were reported. Four thousand six hundred and forty-nine cases were reported by travelers and one case was reported by a laboratory. Thirty-eight of the cases were transmitted by sex. In the U.S. territories, 35,280 people were reported infected locally and 135 cases were contracted while traveling.
Dangers of Zika When Pregnant
If pregnant while contracting this virus, it will pass to the fetus. It could result in a birth defect such as Microcephaly or Congenital Zika Syndrome, which can cause brain damage. Some infants will exhibit eye damage, and joint problems.
Other defects, such as blindness, seizures, deafness, inability to swallow are possible. Some babies may lose the ability to clench muscles due to the virus.
Pregnant women are being warned about traveling to certain places due to the virus, such as Texas and Florida. Most women are being encouraged to avoid those areas to protect them from exposure. If exposed to the virus and wanting to conceive, officials recommend waiting at least eight weeks to ensure an infection has not occurred.
“Many types of brain damage were seen in the studies, including dead spots and empty spaces in the brain, cataracts and congenital deafness,” according to The New York Times.
Where Zika Was Originally Found
The virus was originally found in monkeys that were caged in the Zika forest in the year 1947, around Uganda. At the time, it was thought that humans were immune its affects. The first report of a person catching the virus was in 1952. Then, the Zika virus took people by storm when there was a breakout out in Brazil during 2015.
By Marrissa K.
Edited by Cathy Milne
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Zika Virus
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Zika Travel Notices
The New York Times: Pregnant Women Warned to Avoid Brownsville, Tex., Because of Zika
Newsweek: HOW ZIKA LEADS TO FETAL BRAIN ABNORMALITIES
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