Zika Virus Disease
Questions & Answers
What is Zika Virus Disease (Zika)?
Zika is a disease caused by the Zika virus, and is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (species common in Ohio).
ZIKA can be transmitted from a pregnant mother to her baby during pregnancy or around the time of birth. This infection is highly likely to cause birth defects if contracted during pregnancy.
About 1 in 5 people infected with Zika will get sick. For people who get sick, the illness is usually mild. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected.
What are the symptoms of Zika?
About 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus become ill (i.e., develop Zika).
The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. The incubation period (the time from exposure to symptoms) for Zika virus disease is not known, but is likely to be a few days to a week.
The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week.
People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika.
Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for about a week but it can be found longer in some people.
How is Zika diagnosed?
The symptoms of Zika are similar to those of dengue and chikungunya, diseases spread through the same mosquitoes that transmit Zika.
See your healthcare provider if you develop the symptoms described above and have visited an area where Zika is found.
If you have recently traveled, tell your healthcare provider when and where you traveled.
Your healthcare provider may order specialized blood tests to look for Zika or other similar viruses like dengue or chikungunya.
How is Zika treated?
There is no vaccine to prevent or specific medicine to treat Zika infections.
Treat the symptoms:
Get plenty of rest.
Drink fluids to prevent dehydration.
Take medicine such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®) to relieve fever and pain.
Do not take aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication.
More detailed information can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/zika/disease-qa.html. Please feel free to call Morrow County Health Department for additional information or resources.
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