Zika is a virus spread by Aedes mosquitoes, which are also known for carrying dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever. The symptoms for Zika only appear in 1 out of 5 people exposed to the virus, and often times are not serious enough for victims to need hospital care. Therefore, contracting the Zika virus rarely results in death. However, these obscured symptoms can make it hard to spot infected victims, ultimately allowing the virus to spread more easily. The Zika virus usually remains in a victim’s blood for about a week. If you have been diagnosed with the Zika virus, please take the necessary precautions to prevent mosquito bites during this critical week of infection. Wearing long sleeves, long pants, and bug spray can prevent the risk of others contracting the infection.
The most common symptoms of the Zika virus are headaches, rashes, muscle and joint pains, mild fevers, and inflammations under the eyelid or pinkeye. These symptoms tend to develop between 2-7 days after a victim has been bitten. Zika can be transmitted through blood transfusion, sexual contact, laboratory exposure, or from mother to child. The Zika virus is known to cause microcephaly and other brain defects in developing fetuses. There is currently no cure for the Zika virus.
Zika has been found in Africa, Southeast Asia, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Central and South America, the Pacific Islands, and parts of the Caribbean. In 2016 and 2017, locally acquired zika was reported in Texas and Florida. No new cases have been reported in the continental United States since that time.