Posted: August 10, 2016 Contributor: administrator

What To Do if You Think You Have the Zika Virus

The threat of catching the Zika virus has moved much closer to home as of late. The CDC estimates that there are about 7,200 cases of Zika nationwide, and travel warnings have been issued in some areas of Florida. While the south is a fertile ground for Zika because of the warm, humid climate, the rest of the country is still at risk. Aedes aegypti, the species of mosquito that carries the virus, is present in 30 U.S. states, with Florida and Texas having the highest risk. So what should you do if you think you’ve been infected?

Assess Your Symptoms

Many people that are infected with Zika will show very mild symptoms or none at all. For those that do, they tend to experience fever, rash, joint pain, muscle pains and/or headaches. You should also keep an eye out for rashes that go beyond your typical mosquito bite. Symptoms last between several days to a week.

Schedule & Prepare for a Doctor’s Appointment

The CDC now recommends that women who are pregnant, and live in or travel to an area where the virus is actively spreading, get a blood test at least once during their first and second trimester of pregnancy. Taking notes on your symptoms is very helpful, noting when you began experiencing symptoms and if you have traveled or been in contact with anyone that has traveled to a Zika area.

Relax

Currently, there is no vaccine or treatment for the Zika virus. Doctors encourage those who are infected to get plenty of rest and take Tylenol as needed. You should avoid pain relievers such as Ibuprofen and aspirin because they increase the risk of bleeding. Lastly, Zika can spread through sexual intercourse, so be sure to use a condom!

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