Alexis Sawyer, M.D.
While visiting friends and family in Zika prone areas, it is important to learn about mosquito avoidance and mosquito bite prevention. With the Zika virus in the news constantly, many ask what is it and what should we know? Boys Town Pediatrics discusses prevention to protect your family.
The Zika virus spreads through an infected mosquito bite and can pass from an infected person through sexual intercourse. Symptoms are usually mild and last for a few days to a week after being bitten or infected.
Many people who get infected never have symptoms. Common symptoms include a fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes. While many infected people have mild symptoms, the infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects.
On February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Currently, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is working with the international public health partners and with state and local health departments to:
While no local mosquito-born Zika cases have been reported in the United States, lab tests have confirmed cases of the Zika virus in travelers returning to the United States. With recent outbreaks among travelers increasing, the CDC advises that pregnant women or women trying to get pregnant not travel to areas where Zika is virus is found.
Before your trip, check www.CDC.gov/travel for the latest disease and prevention updates.