The Zika virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes, has been spreading around the world for several years. Once infected, only about 20% of people ever show symptoms, which most commonly include fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes.
Here are several facts that you should know about the Zika virus:
- First of all, Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedesspecies mosquito ( aegypti and Ae. albopictus). These mosquitoes bite during the day and night.
- Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. It is extremely important to know that infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects.
- There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.
- Zika infection during pregnancy can cause birth defects and is related with other pregnancy problems.
- Several countries that have experienced Zika outbreaks recently have reported increases in people who have Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS).
- Current CDC research suggests that GBS is strongly associated with Zika; however, only a small proportion of people with recent Zika virus infection get GBS.
Top 5 things you need to know about Zika Virus
Many areas in the US have the type of mosquitoes that can spread the virus. These type of mosquitoes are aggressive daytime biter and can also bite at night. Other way the virus can be passed through sex.
The best way to prevent Zika is to prevent mosquito bites.
- Use EPA-registered insect repellent.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Stay in places with air conditioning or window and door screens.
- Remove standing water around your home.
Zika is linked to birth defects.
Zika infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly that is a sign of incomplete brain development. Doctors have also found other problems in pregnancies and among fetuses and infants infected with Zika virus before birth. If you are pregnant and have a partner who lives in or has traveled to an area with Zika, do not have sex, or use condoms the right way, every time, during your pregnancy.
Pregnant women should not travel to areas with Zika.
If you are obliged to travel to one of these areas, talk to your healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during your trip.
Returning travelers infected with Zika can spread the virus through mosquito bites.
During the first week of infection, Zika virus can be found in a person’s blood and can pass from an infected person to a mosquito through mosquito bites. An infected mosquito can then spread the virus to other people.
Couples with a partner who lives in or has traveled to an area with Zika should take steps to protect during sex.
Latest News On Zika Virus
CDC adds 4 more countries to the list with Zika virus:
- Solomon Islands
In USA, new Zika virus cases have been reported in Brownsville, Texas and South Florida. If you want to see more about new cases of Zika in the USA and in other countries go to the official CDC website.
Doctors associate Zika virus with heart problems in adults
A new research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, reports cardiovascular complications related to the virus. Nine adult patients with ZIka are part of the study. These patients have no cardiovascular complications, except one. Two-thirds of the patients had evidence of heart failure.
The patients, six females which were seen at the Department of Tropical Medicine in Venezuela within two weeks of having Zika-type symptoms. They reported symptoms of heart problems, most commonly palpitations followed by shortness of breath and fatigue.
Patients underwent an initial electrocardiogram (EKG) which shows the electrical activity of the heart, and in eight of the patients, the EKG suggested heartbeat rate or rhythm concerns.
Serious arrhythmias were detected in eight patients: three cases of atrial fibrillation, two cases of non-sustained atrial tachycardia and two cases of ventricular arrhythmias. Heart failure was present in six cases.
Five of these patients had heart failure with low ejection fraction, when the heart muscle does not pump blood as well as it should. One had heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, when the heart becomes stiff and cannot relax or fill properly.
As a result of all the above mentioned information, always be informed before traveling anywhere.