Zika virus, first identified in Uganda in 1947, is transmitted by the same type of mosquito that carries dengue fever, yellow fever, and chikungunya virus. A mosquito bites an infected person and then passes those viruses to other people it bites. Outbreaks did not occur outside of Africa until 2007, when it spread to the South Pacific.
CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, told reporters that “on occasion,” it may be spread through sexual contact or blood transfusions. In early February, a case of Zika spreading through sexual contact was reported in Dallas County, TX. There, a person who’d traveled to an area that had cases of the virus infected a partner who had not traveled.
Symptoms of Zika virus
Signs and symptoms of Zika virus are vague and can last for up to a week. Diagnosis of the virus is typically confirmed with a blood test.
c. Joint pain
d. Conjunctivitis (red eyes)
e. Muscle pain
g. Pain behind the eyes
a. See your healthcare provider if you develop the symptoms described above and have visited an area where Zika is found.
b. If you have recently traveled, tell your healthcare provider when and where you traveled.
c. Your healthcare provider may order specialized blood tests to look for Zika or other similar viruses like dengue or chikungunya.
a. Treat the symptoms:
-There is no vaccine to prevent or specific medicine to treat Zika infections.
-Get plenty of rest.
-Drink fluids to prevent dehydration.
-Take medicine such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®) to relieve fever and pain.
-Do not take aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
-If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication.
b. If you have Zika, prevent mosquito bites for the first week of your illness.
-During the first week of infection, Zika virus can be found in the blood and passed from an infected person to a mosquito through mosquito bites.
– An infected mosquito can then spread the virus to other people.