10 important facts about the Zika Virus

There's a lot of chatter about the Zika virus going around. Here are the 10 important facts about the illness that you should know:

1.         The Zika Virus is spread by the Aedesmosquitos.

The Aedes mosquito is the same breed of mosquito known to carry the West Nile virus. These mosquitos were originally found in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. Because they are an invasive species, they are now found on all continents except for Antarctica. 

2.         Symptoms last between two and seven days.

Symptoms of the Zika Virus are mild and include: fever, headache, fatigue, joint pain, skin rash, and conjunctivitis (red eyes).

3.        The best way to treat the Zika Virus is resting, staying hydrated and taking Tylenol  (acetaminophen) to reduce fever and aches.

Currently, there is no medication for the Zika Virus. Since it is so mild, the best way to treat yourself, or a loved one, is to get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids. The symptoms are relatively mild and do not last long.

4.          Once infected, you are likely to be protected from the virus in the future.

 This concept is similar to the Chicken Pox. Once a person has contracted the Zika Virus  his/her body is likely to build immunity to it for the future.

5.           There is no vaccination to prevent infection of the Zika Virus.

Currently, there is no vaccination that can be used to treat or prevent contracting the Zika Virus. Since there is no vaccination, it is important to use other precautionary measures to prevent getting the illness such as using bug spray and wearing clothing such as long sleeves and pants.

6.           Acquiring the Zika Virus while pregnant has been linked to birth defects

Acquiring the Zika Virus while you are pregnant can possibly cause a birth defect called microcephaly.

7.        Wearing light colored clothes that covers the majority of skin can help prevent infection.

 Mosquitos are not as attracted to light colors, so wearing them helps to repel mosquitos.  In addition, wearing clothing that covers your skin reduces the chance of mosquitos biting  you and thus causing infection of the Zika Virus.

8.           Wearing mosquito repellent is helpful in preventing infection.

Mosquito repellent is helpful in hiding yourself from mosquitos while outside. If you are going to be outside in one space for a prolonged period of time use citronella candles as the candles are helpful in repelling mosquitos.

9.             Zika Virus diagnosis is easy with the help of a doctor.

There is a simple diagnostic test that can be performed to determine whether you have contracted the Zika Virus contact your physician for test availability.

10.        Do not take aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (ibuprofen) medicines.