Health and Well Being / Travel

THE ZIKA VIRUS

What is the Zika Virus? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Zika Virus is a virus first discovered in 1947 and is named after the Zika Forest in Uganda. Zika is transmitted through mosquito bites, sex, pregnant woman to her fetus and not confirmed but can happen through blood transfusion.

HOW ZIKA IS TRANSMITTED

  • The virus is mostly spread by the bites of infected mosquitoes. These mosquitoes are biting 24 hours a day. They are aggressive daytime biters but also bite at night.
      • • Sex is another way this virus is spread. CDC is not sure how long Zika stays in the semen and vaginal fluids of those who have the virus but are conducting studies more studies. They do know it can stay in the semen longer than in other body fluids.
      • • During pregnancy, Zika can cause birth defects called microcephaly and other severe brain defects.
      • • Blood donation is a low risk of contracting the virus right now but it can change depending on the number of people affected with Zika.On August 26, 2016, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued revised guidance to prevent the spread of Zika virus through the blood supply. This new FDA guidance calls for blood collection centers in the United States to screen all donated blood for Zika virus.

        SYMPTOMS

        People who are infected with the Zika virus don’t always know it since the symptoms, if any, are mild. The most common symptoms are:

        • • Fever
        • • Rash
        • • Joint Pain
        • • Red Eyes (conjunctivitis)
        • • Muscle Pain
        • • Headache

        Symptoms can last several days up to a week. People usually don’t go to the hospital because they don’t get sick enough and rarely die of Zika. For this reason they do not know they have been infected.

        PREVENTION

        1. Prevent Mosquito Bites – Use insect repellent, Wear long sleeved shirts and pants, empty standing water around your home.

        2. Plan for Travel – If you are pregnant do not go where there is Zika, Check with your Travel Agent where Zika has been recorded.

        3. Protect Yourself during sex

        For more information contact Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov

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