Zika Virus- Should We Be Worried?
Is the virus in the US?
The Zika virus has come to the United States and there are more people becoming infected with the virus. There has been a lot of false information being handed out to people and because no one really knew what the infection could do, it became an epidemic before it really became one. Here are some things that you should know about the virus before worrying too much if you have been infected by it or are at risk of being infected.
Signs of the Zika Virus
Most people who have the Zika virus have no real signs or symptoms of having the virus. If you have been recently bitten by a mosquito, here are some symptoms to look for days following the bite.
First off- look at the bite mark itself. Does it look like its infected? Does it look like a regular bug bite?
- The first sign of the Zika virus following a bite is a rash, fever and aches in your joints and muscles. You should feel some of the symptoms once exposed to the virus within just a few days up to a week after the exposure.
You should know that once you have been diagnosed, you will feel the symptoms of the virus for up to a couple weeks following the infection. The sooner you get tested and the sooner that you have the diagnosis, the better the results for you.
- The virus is usually mild however varies from person to person and how your body reacts to the virus.
- People are very rarely affected to the point of death from the Zika virus and the virus usually does not affect someone to the point that they need to be seen in the ER.
- The virus will last in someone's blood for up to a week or perhaps longer depending on the person and their blood. If you have a weaker immune system, the virus will most likely last longer in you than in a healthy individual.
- If you have been infected by the virus, you will carry an immunity to the virus against future infections from the Zika virus.
Zika Virus and Unborn Babies
It is very important that pregnant woman who have been infected by the Zika virus be monitored by the OB/GYN. The virus has been linked to a major birth defect in babies who were born to mothers who once were diagnosed with the Zika virus.
In the picture above, you see an image of a typical baby born with a normal size skull and the picture of a child who was born with a smaller head due to the Zika virus. This is why it is so important to be checked when pregnant and having the virus. You will want your doctor to keep an eye on the shape of your baby and to monitor any ill effects caused by the virus.
If you have been out of the country or have been to an area where there has been confirmed cases of the Zika virus, you will want to let your doctor know so that they can make sure to keep track of infections or to look for symptoms of the virus in your body. If you do not know if there has been a confirmed case in your state or region, contact your local health department who will be able to tell you if they have had any cases recently.
By keeping informed on where the virus has been found, you have a better chance at keeping information handy and know how to protect against the virus. You can be prepared to have bug spray on hand when visiting parks and spending a large amount of time outside. If you feel that this is still not enough, look up what else you can do to keep mosquitoes from biting you.
If you have been bitten and diagnosed to have the Zika virus, you should make sure that you keep bug spray on and avoid further bites from mosquitos. If you are outside for long periods of time, reapply the bug spray every couple of hours and also make sure to wear long pants and sleeves if possible. If you live in an area that is hot and do not want to wear pants and long sleeve shirts, you should make sure that you have spray that is strong enough to last for quite some time before the need to reapply the bug spray. Check the ingredients and look to see at what level does it keep the bugs away. Will it work for mosquitoes or do you have to purchase a separate spray to kill the mosquitos.
If Infected- List of things to do
If you have been infected by the Zika virus, there are a number of things you can do to help yourself to feel better sooner. Here is some things to do which will help to keep the virus from spreading to others around you and what you can do to ensure that you or your loved ones will pull through this with flying colors.
- Make sure you get plenty of rest once infected by the virus.
- Make sure that you are drinking enough liquids to keep you hydrated. You do not want to get dehydrated when fighting off the virus. The more liquids you have in your body, the better chances you have to push the virus through the body quicker.
- Make sure that you are taking a pain reliever such as Tylenol when fighting the infection. You will want to keep the pain level down of your joints and muscles as well as keeping a fever down which comes with the virus.
- Please make sure that you know not to take any Aspirin or NSAIDS while you are taking other medications and while on the medications for the Zika virus.
Make sure that you know and understand that when you have been infected by the virus, to keep yourself unexposed to future bug bites as the bacteria and infection can be passed from one person to another.
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