What you need to know about the ZIKA VIRUS!
Where the Zika Virus been found:
Prior to 2015, Zika virus outbreaks have occurred in areas of Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infections in Brazil.
Currently, outbreaks are occurring in many countries. Zika virus will continue to spread and it will be difficult to determine how the virus will spread over time.
Zika in the United States and its territories:
No locally transmitted Zika cases have been reported in the continental United States, but cases have been reported in returning travelers. Locally transmitted Zika virus has been reported in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and America Samoa. With the recent outbreaks, the number of Zika cases among travelers visiting or returning to the United States will likely increase.
These imported cases could result in local spread of the virus in some areas of the United States.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health:
The current Zika outbreak began in May 2015 and is occurring in many countries. Zika is a generally mild illness that is spread primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito. In rare cases it has been known to also spread from mother to child, as well as through blood transfusion. of Zika virus is possible, and men who have traveled to affected areas should take steps to prevent the spread of Zika virus through sexual contact.
Concern about the virus was elevated following reports of increased cases of a serious birth defect known as microcephaly that may be associated with Zika virus infection among the majority of individuals infected with the Zika virus have no symptoms. When symptoms occur, they are usually mild and last for between two and seven days and include:
Conjunctivitis (red eyes)
No vaccine or medications are yet available to prevent or treat Zika virus. Symptoms are treated with plenty of rest, fluids and medicine to relieve fever and pain. Severe illness requiring hospitalization is uncommon, and deaths from Zika virus are rare.
Until more is known, the CDC recommends that all pregnant women consider postponing travel to areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant and must travel to these areas should first consult with their health care provider and take extra care to protect themselves from mosquito bites when traveling to an area known to have Zika.