The news is all over reporting about the Zika Virus, so much so it is hard to know what we should be concerned, or not, about it. So here is a handy list of Zika Virus facts.
- Zika virus is spread to adults through the bite of an infected mosquito. The mosquito species is specifically the Aedes mosquito. This mosquito is generally found in tropical areas of the world. Thus, Zika virus has become more prevalent in South American and Latin American countries (within our hemisphere).
- A human infected with the Zika Virus will show symptoms of fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis. Symptoms can last for several days to a week and vary in severity. Often people may not realize they are infected. Zika Virus is rarely fatal.
- A pregnant woman, however, infected with the Zika Virus can develop a condition called microcephaly. This is a condition where the conceived child develops a significantly smaller head size than a typical newborn. The size of a baby’s head is proportional to their brain size and so it is a concern that the brain stops growing or is hampered from growth. This is a concern though that has not been observed clinically. Microcephaly though does tend to trigger other symptoms for a child, ie. seizures, due to the head developing at an abnormal pace.
- The Zika Virus does not pose more of a threat to men than the virus symptoms. However, it is known that the virus can be sexually transmitted. So if a spouse has the virus you will want to take necessary precations.
- Zika Virus has been around for decades, but it is only until last year that Zika made its way into the western hemisphere and has started to spread into the United States. Typically Americans who contract Zika Virus have done so while being in a tropical area that has known risks.
- The Center for Disease Control is active in keeping track of the spread of the Zika Virus and the mosquitoes that spread it. You can visit their website for up to date information on its spread.
- If you read up on the spread of the Zika Virus you will find that the spread of it in the United States is rare and usually because of some travel situation. The Zika Virus, though, does become news as many Americans are making their way to Brazil for the Summer Olympics in July & August. If you are traveling to a tropical area of the world in the coming months you can check out the CDC’s Zika Virus travel guide to help protect you and your family from this mosquito-borne virus.