Zika virus (ZIKV) is a member of the virus family Flaviviridae; It is spreading by daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes; such as A. aegypti and A. albopictus. Where Summer is synonymous with mosquitoes, and that means possible exposure to the West Nile and Zika viruses. Both are spreading mainly through mosquito bites.
But about one in 150 develop a serious inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues with headache; high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures or paralysis. People over 60 and those with certain chronic medical conditions are at the greatest risk for serious illness. But up to 20% of infected people have symptoms, such as a fever, headache, body aches, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea and/or rash.
Zika virus exposure
Possible symptoms vary and might include fever, rash, joint or muscle pain, conjunctivitis and/or headache. But 80% of those infected get mild or no noticeable symptoms. Symptoms can start up to seven days after exposure and last up to seven days.
Zika also can be spread from men to their partners through sex, and it’s linking to brain-relating birth defects and miscarriages. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that pregnant women not travel to areas where there is a Zika outbreak. If you must travel to a risky area, prevention is essential. A pregnant mother can pass it to her baby. If you’re pregnant and suspect Zika, see your doctor immediately for testing.
Brain-relating birth defects
Always follow label instructions some, such as those with permethrin; should be applied to clothing, not to skin, and some are not safe for children under age 3. To protect a child, spray the repellent on your hands and then apply, avoiding the child’s hands, eyes, mouth and any cuts or irritated skin.
To limit mosquito breeding, get rid of any outdoor items that can collect water, from Fido’s bowl to gardening buckets to old cans and tires. But empty the kiddie pool between uses. Tightly cover any rain barrels, and regularly unclog gutters and runoff drains. Make sure all window and door screens in your home are free of holes that could let in mosquitoes.