Healthy Kids: Zika Virus

FORT MYERS, Fla. -Dr. Annette St. Pierre-Mackoul joined WINK News This Morning to break down to the Zika Virus.

What is the Zika Virus:

Spread to people through mosquito bites.
No mosquitoes in the US have tested positive yet!
Mosquitoes get the virus from feeding on infected people (1st week)
Then the mosquito spreads the virus by biting other people.
Mother to fetus disease spread is a major concern.
Sexual contact spread?
Blood transfusion spread?

Symptoms of Zika Virus:

1 in 5 people infected will get sick.
Joint pain
Conjunctivitis (red eyes)
Muscle pain

Zika Virus Disease:

Usually mild symptoms
Incubation period is unknown
Last several days to a week.
Disease spread can only occur in the first week
Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.

Zika Virus Concerns:

Pregnant women giving birth to babies with birth defects.
Most common defect is microcephaly.
Poor pregnancy outcomes.
Reports of Guillain-Barre syndrome (nerve, muscle disease, paralysis)

Zika Virus in the U.S.:

10 cases in 5 states here in the U.S.
No locally transmitted Zika cases.
All cases in the U.S. are from returning travelers.
Puerto Rico has been the closest reported transmission
U.S. does have the right kind of mosquitoes for transmission.

Prevention of Zika Virus:

No vaccines exists.
Prevent mosquito bites.
Spread of disease is greater during the daytime.
If pregnant, avoid traveling to high risk countries

Mosquito Bite Prevention:

Use insect repellents – safe for pregnant women
Best repellents contain:  DEET, picaridin, IR3535
Separate application of sunscreen followed by insect repellent
Spray insect repellent on clothing.
Wear long sleeved shirts and long pants.
Use A/C or window/door screens.
Sleep under a mosquito bed net.

Treatment for Zika:

Get plenty of rest.
Drink fluids to prevent dehydration.
Take medicines like acetaminophen to reduce fever and pain.
Do not take aspirin or other NSAID’s.
Talk to your doctor about other concerns.