Prevention is better than cure, and that holdswell with the infamous Zika virus coming to the forefront making traveling questionable.
Boston, United States –In the wake of the Zika virus and the health concerns surrounding it, the CDC has issued an alert for travelers to certain countries where the virus is currently trending.Guatemala,Mexico,Paraguay,Martinique,El Salvador,Brazil,the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, French Guiana,Colombia,Haiti,Honduras,Venezuela,Panama, and Suriname are the regions where Zika is active.
A recent case study talks about an American traveler who was affected by this deadly virus on a trip to the Caribbean.What kicked off with a headache, sore throat, joint pain, and rashes gave way to decreased sleep, grandiose thinking, and excessive energy.
It appears that the Zika virus has been in circulation in just about every country for months, maybe years, even before the first cases grabbed attention. In 2015, the virus blew out of proportion debilitating 1.5 million people in South America and Brazil. In February 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a health emergency worldwide, which was declared over in November 2016.
Rather than groping in the dark, it’s good to keep abreast of this deadly virus:
- Zika spreads through infected mosquitoes and sexual intercourse.
Few regions in the United States have the Zika-spreading virus. Infected mosquitoes can bite during the day or night, which makes things even more difficult.The virus can spread during sexual intercourse too.
- Safeguard against the virus with mosquito repellents.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants that cover the legs.
- Stay indoors in an air-conditioned place or an area that’s adequately covered.
- Get rid of stagnant water in and around the house.
- Zika can cause birth complications.
During pregnancy, a Zika infection can lead to microcephaly, which is a serious birth defect affecting brain development. To rule out the possibility of getting infected from an infected partner, use condoms always.
- Pregnant women should rethink their travel plans to Zika areas.
Talk to a qualified healthcare provider before finalizing travel plans to Zika-infested areas. Read through the CDC’s travel guide on information related to the Zika virus in Hawaii and continental United States.
- Zika can spread from returning travelers who are infected
In the first week of being infected, the Zika virus is active in the bloodstream. It can be transferred from an infected person to the mosquito which then spreads to others via mosquito bites. The Aedesaegypti mosquito was the only known variety known to spread Zika; Brazilian scientists have also identifiedCulexquinquefasciatus mosquito as another type of Zika-transmitting mosquito. In fact, these mosquitoes are 20 times larger!
Counter Attacking the Zika Virus
Currently, there’s no treatment for Zika but the National Institute of Health is testing out a vaccine. Taking over-the-counter medications, like acetaminophen, to control fever and pain is recommended to bring some relief. It takes about a week or two for the disease to run its course. Infected people need to stay hydrated with plenty of fluids and take adequate rest. Nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs, like Aspirin, should not be ingested till dengue is ruled out. This is done to reduce the risks associated with bleeding.
The good news is that the progress of Zika vaccine has been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration in USA. It’s believed that researchers based out of Quebec, Canada, are on the verge of conducting the first Zika test on humans.
Considering there’s no definite form of treatment available for this disease just yet, staying clear of mosquitoes is a great place to start.