Separating Zika Myths and Facts

Separating Zika Myths and Facts

It’s not unusual for a health scare to bring out conspiracy theories or loads of inaccurate information so it makes sense that Zika is now the recipient of these misconceptions.

While there are likely too many of these to even list, here are four of the most common myths currently surrounding the Zika virus.

Myth #1: Zika Can be Passed Through Water

Fact: Despite popular belief, there is no way that you can catch the Zika virus through water. The only ways you could become infected are if you are bitten by an infected Aedes mosquito, through sexual transmission, through blood transfusion or some type of laboratory exposure to infected fluids.

Myth #2: There is No Way to Protect Yourself From the Zika Virus

Fact: While there is currently no vaccine available, there are ways that you can help reduce your risk of exposure to the Zika virus. In areas with infection, the breeding grounds for mosquitos are commonly known and should be avoided at all times. Also, using a repellant with at least 20% DEET, picaridin, oil of eucalyptus or IR3535 can reduce the risk of bites. This is especially important around dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are known to be their most active.

Myth #3: If You Are Pregnant and Have Zika, Your Baby Will Have Microcephaly

Fact: While the chances of having a microcephaly baby are increased when you have Zika, it doesn’t mean it’s a definite. In fact, it’s been said the chances are close to 1 in 100.

Myth #4: There is Treatment for Zika

Fact: There is no treatment for Zika. Many adults do not even know that they are infected. The only way to confirm the presence of the virus is to complete lab testing with bodily fluids. It does appear that those who have the virus once are immune from getting it again. It’s unknown if there are some people who are born with immunity from the virus, but is not outside the realm of possibility.
For those who are infected, supportive therapy in the form of rest, fluid hydration and pain medications is the extent of their “treatment.”

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