What is Zika virus?
Zika virus is spread by mosquitoes, and it is dangerous to pregnant women and their babies. It has the potential to cause severe birth defects. It is most common in tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Since its discovery in 1947, there have been multiple outbreaks in various locations across the world.
What are the symptoms of Zika virus?
Symptoms are typically mild when adults are affected. They include fever, rash, headache, joint and muscle pain, and red eyes. These effects typically last for a week, and they are not usually severe enough to cause hospitalization.
The symptoms are severe for the unborn babies of pregnant women who are infected with Zika virus. This virus has the potential to cause birth defects, such as microcephaly and other brain birth defects.
What causes Zika virus?
Zika virus is most commonly spread through mosquitoes. Other ways it is transmitted are from mother to unborn child, through sex, and through blood transfusion.
How is Zika virus diagnosed?
Testing for this virus only occurs if one has the characteristic symptoms and has recently traveled to a country that has an active outbreak. Testing consists of blood and urine tests.
What are the treatments for Zika virus?
No medication or treatment exists that is specific to Zika. Medical professionals suggest getting enough rest, managing symptoms, drinking fluids, and medications like Tylenol.