With a state of emergency being declared in four counties in Florida, the Zika virus has been thrust into public eye. Here is what we know about it so far:
What it is: It is a virus that is mostly mosquito born and shares a lot of characteristics with West Nile Virus (WNV). Remember we have seen a large rise in WNV cases here in Orange County California, with Santa Ana being at the outbreak epicenter. Zika is not a new virus, but it is starting to spread.
Symptoms: Fever, joint pain, rash, conjunctivitis, headache, and muscular pain. Less than 50% of those who are exposed develop symptoms. It is unlikely to cause death, according to the CDC.
Where it’s located: Right now it is seen in Central America, Africa, South Africa, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean, with some cases of exposed people bringing it into the US.
Why the scare? Brazil has seen a rise in cases of babies born with microcephaly, which leads to developmental issues. Officials think that the two issues may be linked. It may also be associated with Guillain-Barre syndrome.
Best Medicine: Avoid mosquitos & being bitten. If you are pregnant, rethink travel to these areas if it is a concern.
For more info go here: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/
For ways to avoid mosquitos go here: West Nile Virus
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Remember that this information is for educational purposes only. Seek the advice of a health specialist before making any changes to your healthcare.