What You Need To Know About the Zika Virus



The  Zika Virus epidemic is making headlines everyday it seems. Should we be worried about this disease? Can we catch it from someone else that is infected? Here are the latest Zika facts from the CDC that you should know.

1. The Zika Virus is generally spread by mosquitoes, not by people.


According to the CDC, the Zika virus is spread to people mainly through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. When a non-infected mosquito bites a person who is already infected with the virus, that mosquito will also become infected. So when that mosquito goes on to bite another person, it will spread the disease again.

2. Symptoms of the Zika Virus are usually mild and last from several days to a week.


Common symptoms of Zika include fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes), muscle pain and headache.


3. Unborn babies are most at risk from Zika virus complications.


The virus has been linked to severe brain damage in newborns after nearly 4,000 babies were born in Brazil in the past year with unusually small heads, an incurable condition known as microcephaly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also urging pregnant women and those who are trying to become pregnant to avoid traveling to any regions affected by the virus.


To date, there are no reports of infants getting Zika virus through breastfeeding. Because of the benefits of breastfeeding, mothers are encouraged to breastfeed even in areas where Zika virus is found.


4. There is no vaccine for the Zika Virus.


To treat the virus, the CDC recommends that you should:

Get plenty of rest
Drink fluids to prevent dehydration
Take medicines, such as acetaminophen or paracetamol, to relieve fever and pain, but do not
take aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen and naproxen


5. The CDC reports that the Zika Virus may possibly be spread through sexual contact ( via semen ) and through blood transfusion.


There has been one report of possible spread of the virus through blood transfusion and one report of possible spread of the  Zika virus through sexual contact.

Learn more about the Zika Virus and Pregnancy at the Centers For Disease and Prevention (CDC).

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