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Zika Virus Insights, Prevention Tips, & More!
With the increasing cases on Zika virus it’s crucial to remain informed, as well as introduce safety precautions for disease control and prevention. What measures can be instituted to support the control of viral transmission? Let’s first discuss the virus. Zika is a viral infection transmitted to humans through the bite of Aedes mosquitoes. It is in question if viral transmission can spread through bodily fluids like saliva, yet further testing is required. To date, there are no medications to treat Zika or vaccine currently available. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shares insights on Zika stating, “Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.” Fortunately, safety precautions can be instituted to promote health and disease prevention.
The CDC documents the following tips to decrease Zika viral transmission:
1. Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, and hats.
2. Apply insect repellent.
3. Cover baby cribs and strollers with mosquito nets.
4. Use a bed net when traveling overseas and in outdoor settings.
5. Pregnant women should postpone travel to areas with Zika virus transmission cases.
6. Notify your doctor if you develop fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes.
What are common signs & symptoms?
Symptoms are relatively mild and require no specific treatment, although pregnant people and individuals with health conditions can be at greater risk. People infected with the virus initially develop mild fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis or red eyes. These symptoms typically last from two days to one week.
What to do if you suspect Zika infection?
If you question being infected with Zika virus go to the nearest hospital for medical care and guidance. The CDC recommends getting plenty of rest, keeping hydrated, and using over-the-counter drugs to manage symptoms like fever reducing agents and anti-inflammatory medications.
What are some considerations for pregnant and nursing women?
Consult your physician if you suspect viral infection and are pregnant or nursing. The CDC notes cases of congenital microcephaly (small head and brain size) in babies born to mothers infected with Zika virus while pregnant. The CDC recommends pregnant women to use insect repellent and to postpone travel to areas of reported Zika cases. The CDC also goes on to mention, “Women trying to become pregnant should consult with their healthcare provider before traveling to these areas and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the trip.”
* All information shared in this article should be discussed with your healthcare practitioner prior to incorporating any suggestions. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide advice or direct client decisions.