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A Few Facts on Zika

Published on January 25, 2016 by admin

Lately the Zika virus has been popping up in the news. Travel advisories have even been issued regarding the mosquito-borne virus.

What is it and should you be concerned?

If you’ve travelled to Mexico before, you’ve heard of dengue fever. The same mosquito species that transmits dengue also transmits the Zika virus, and it is present in Mexico. Currently a few cases of Zika have been confirmed in the states of Chiapas, Nuevo Leon and Jalisco.

The illness is like a mild form of dengue; with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Symptoms include fever, an itchy rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis (red eyes). Severe cases requiring hospitalization are uncommon. Only 1 in 5 people with Zika actually become ill (develop symptoms).

Like the common cold, there is no cure or treatment.

Prevention is key:

  • wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts especially in jungle areas
  • use insect repellent
  • stay in screened-in or air-conditioned areas

If infected, individuals are encouraged to get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids, and take acetaminophen for any discomfort.

For many of us, this is something to be aware of, but not a huge concern. The real danger is for pregnant women, as the Zika virus has been linked to birth defects. Federal health officials are urging pregnant women to consider postponing travel plans across Latin America because of the risk. For more information click here.

Written by Kelly Gislason

Category: Travel Tips
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