School is out and it’s now really summer. Spending time outdoors is just about the top of the To Do List now that the rain had quit. Or is it? What about that pesky Zika mosquito? We’re a little worried about it, too. So we have an update from the Center for Disease Control with i nformation about dealing with the pests.
Transmission & Symptoms
Zika is caused by a virus which is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. Common symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.
Zika virus was first discovered in 1947 and is named after the Zika Forest in Uganda. In 1952, the first human cases of Zika were detected and since then, outbreaks of Zika have been reported in tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Zika outbreaks have probably occurred in many locations. Before 2007, at least 14 cases of Zika had been documented, although other cases were likely to have occurred and were not reported. Because the symptoms of Zika are similar to those of many other diseases, many cases may not have been recognized.
What We Know
- No vaccine exists to prevent Zika virus disease (Zika).
- Prevent Zika by avoiding mosquito bites (see below).
- Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus bite mostly during the daytime.
- Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus also spread dengue and chikungunya viruses.
If You Have Zika, Prevent Others from Getting Sick
- During the first week of infection, Zika virus can be found in the blood and passed from an infected person to another mosquito through mosquito bites. An infected mosquito can then spread the virus to other people.
- To help prevent others from getting sick, strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the first week of illness.
- Zika virus can be spread during sex by a man infected with Zika to his sex partners.
- We do not know how long the virus can stay in the semen of men who have had Zika, and how long the virus can be spread through sex.
- We do know that the virus can stay in semen longer than in blood.
- To help prevent spreading Zika from sex, you can use condoms, correctly from start to finish, every time you have sex. This includes vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Not having sex is the only way to be sure that someone does not get sexually transmitted Zika virus.
Mosquito Bite Prevention
Get great ideas on Mosquito Bite Prevention from the CDC, click here.
Dean & Draper
We hope that your summer is filled with laughter, good food, along with great times with friends and family. If you have questions about your insurance, we have the answers so you can get back to your summer.
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