In order to avoid the Zika virus, you have to protect yourself from mosquito bites because the virus is spread to people mainly through the bite of an infected mosquito. When you are planning your next trip, you have to do some research beforehand, because there are currently outbreaks of Zika virus in many countries.
Currently, there is no medicine to treat Zika or vaccine to prevent it. Even if severe illness is not common and deaths are rare, there are multiple complications that can appear. If you follow these tips you will be able to protect yourself and your family from the Zika virus, Just remember that the more steps you take, the more protected you are.
Zika can be passed through sex
If someone has sex with a person with Zika, there are huge chances they could get infected with the virus. The exact timeframe when men and women can pass the virus through sex is not known because, from all the body fluids, the Zika virus stays the longest in the semen. It is common for people to have minor symptoms or no symptoms at all after they were infected with Zika virus.
Because of these hidden symptoms, those infected may not even know that they have been bitten by the Aedes aegypti, the species of mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus. It is very important to know that people who don’t have any symptoms can still pass the Zika virus through sex.
In order to reduce the chance of getting Zika from sex, it is best to use condoms from start to finish, in any type of sexual intercourse. Also, if you want to eliminate completely any chance of getting Zika from sex, it is best to avoid any type of sex.
Delay your trip if you are pregnant
For women who are pregnant, it’s best they delayed their trip to any area where Zika may be present because studies show that a pregnant woman can pass the virus to her unborn baby. If the future mother gets infected, serious birth complications can happen, and the most common is the microcephaly, a medical condition in which the baby’s head is smaller than normal.
Also, Researchers at six National Primate Research Centers (NPRCs) combined results from individual studies to show that the Zika virus poses a great threat of miscarriage. There were 50 monkeys used , all infected with the Zika virus during the first trimester of pregnancy, and the result was that 26 percent of pregnancies ended in miscarriage or stillbirth.
It is recommended for women who are pregnant in any trimester, or who are trying to conceive, to speak to their doctor before they travel to the areas that are known to be affected by the Zika virus. Also, you can reduce the risk of catching the virus by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and by using insect repellent.
Symptoms and diagnosis
In order to diagnose Zika, you have to share with your doctor or any healthcare provider any abnormal signs and symptoms. Then, you will have to do a blood or urine test which can confirm a Zika infection. Even if you don’t have symptoms but you live in or you have recently traveled to an area with a risk of Zika infection, you should still talk to your healthcare provider.
As we already mentioned, statistics show that only 1 in 5 people infected with the Zika virus experience signs or symptoms. The symptoms usually occur two to seven days after the person was infected with the virus. The most common symptoms and signs of the Zika virus are mild fever, headache, rash, joint or muscle pain, and some people may experience itching all over their body and conjunctivitis (red eyes).
Even if there is no specific treatment for the Zika virus, most people with symptoms feel better when they are administered over-the-counter medications for pain and fever. You just have to let the virus run its course, and this usually takes about a week. It is recommended for people who were infected to hydrate themselves very well by drinking plenty of fluids and also, to get a good rest.