Waushara County Health News

Should you be worried about the Zika Virus?

It depends. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), before 2015 the Zika Virus outbreaks occurred in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. In May 2015 infections were first noted in Brazil and later connections were being made between Zika Virus and women delivering children with birth defects, specifically, microcephaly, smaller than normal head size.  

So what do we know at this time? According to the CDC, the Zika Virus is spread mainly by a certain species of mosquito. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis, or red eyes. 

The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week, and only 1 out of 5 persons infected with the virus get symptoms. There is no specific treatment, and very rarely is there a need for hospitalization or death. Once you have the virus you are immune to it. 

Areas with Zika Virus, outside the United States, include areas in the Caribbean, Central America, South America, Pacific Islands, and Mexico. The cases in the United States have been travel acquired, except for a few in the US territories of the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. For a complete listing visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov.

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