While Zika virus remains rare in most areas of the United States, there are some important
facts you should know in order to protect yourself and your family.
How is Zika spread?
Zika virus is spread primarily by mosquitoes that become infected through biting a person that is infected with the virus. Then, that mosquito may spread the virus by biting more people. Zika is also spread through sexual intercourse with an infected person and from pregnant women to their child during pregnancy or birth.
What are the symptoms of Zika?
Most people that are infected with Zika may not have any symptoms or have very mild symptoms. Symptoms of Zika typically include:
- Joint pain
- Red eyes
How can I prevent Zika?
According to Dr. Terry Buzzard, Chief Medical Officer at Physicians Immediate Care, “Currently there is no vaccine to prevent Zika, so the most effective way to prevent exposure to the virus is to reduce your risk of being bit by mosquitos.” Here are some tips:
- Use insect repellents.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Stay indoors when mosquitos are most active, which is usually at dawn and dusk. However, it is important to note that the type of mosquito that carries Zika is active during daytime hours as well.
- Use mosquito netting to protect children in strollers or if camping or sleeping outdoors.
- Prevent the sexual transmission of Zika by using condoms or by not having sex.
What is the treatment for Zika?
There are currently no specific medications for those who have been infected with Zika. Medical care mainly consists of testing and treating the symptoms, which involves:
- Getting plenty of rest.
- Drinking lots of fluids to prevent dehydration.
- Taking medications to reduce fever and pain (do not take aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
Getting and staying healthy can difficult, at Physicians Immediate Care, we aim to make this job a bit easier by offering affordable options for things like immunizations, flu shots, and yearly physicals.
Source: Centers for Disease Control (CDC), cdc.gov/zika