How to reduce the risk of getting the Zika Virus:
Before you travel, you should go to a doctor or a health professional so that they can give you advice on how to prevent the virus. You should go to the doctor 4-6 weeks before you leave. You can also go to a health website and search for the location you are traveling to see if there is a risk for the Zika virus or if they have any past outbreaks/cases of the Zika virus. You should try to avoid being bitten by any type of mosquitoes in a tropical climate or southern state.
Here are some good bite preventions:
- Use insect repellent that contains DEET, which contains Diethyl Meta Toluamide. You can put this on if you are pregnant, and it can be put onto children older than 2 months.
- Wear loose clothing that covers your arms and legs.
- Sleep under a mosquito net if one is available.
If you do all of these things or at least one of these things you will have a decreased chance of getting the Zika virus.
Advice for pregnant women who are traveling where there is a risk of the Zika Virus:
If you are pregnant and you are planning to travel to a tropical climate, then you should talk to a health professional about your travel plans to see if you will be safe to travel. If you are not able to avoid your trip, then maybe take extra precautions on how to avoid getting bit by mosquitoes. If you do get bit, make sure that you are okay, and then check on your baby by getting an ultrasound because the Zika virus can give your baby birth defects.
Symptoms of the Zika Virus:
- Itching all over the body
- A high temperature
- A headache
- Joint pain, (possibilities of swelling in smaller joints of the hands and the feet)
- Muscle Pain
- Red eyes (conjunctivitis)
- Lower back pain
- Pain behind the eyes
If you have one or more of these symptoms, you will need to go to the doctor to get tested for the Zika virus, especially if you have traveled to tropical southern states. In some cases, people can be asymptomatic, meaning you can still have it but not show any of these symptoms.
Can the Zika Virus be treated?
There is no specific treatment for this virus. A couple things you can do is drink plenty of water, or you can take paracetamol, also known as Acetaminophen. Paracetamol is a pain reliever and a fever reducer.
Can you die from the Zika Virus?
The answer is no, but there have been two cases of deaths by the Zika virus, and it was two elderly patients. But there are some serious long-term effects that you should know about. For example, it can stunt your growth or cause seizures or developmental delays, as well as hearing and vision loss.