Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Zika Virus: What You Need to Know

Zika virus is transmitted to humans primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (also a vector for dengue fever, chikungunya and yellow fever viruses). The mosquito typically breeds in domestic water-holding containers; they are aggressive daytime biters and feed both indoors and outdoors near dwellings. There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika. The virus is NOT spread person to person.
About 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus become symptomatic. Characteristic clinical findings are acute onset of fever with maculopapular rash, arthralgia, or conjunctivitis. Other commonly reported symptoms include myalgia and headache. Clinical illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon and case fatality is low. There have been cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome reported in patients following suspected Zika virus infection.
However, due to concerns of microcephaly associated with maternal Zika viral infection, fetuses and infants of women infected with Zika virus during pregnancy should be evaluated for possible congenital infection and neurologic abnormalities. In December 2015, Puerto Rico reported its first confirmed Zika virus case. More recently, the mother of a newborn delivered in Hawaii with microcephaly likely was exposed to the Zika virus while she was residing in Brazil in May 2015.
For further information: www.cdc.gov/Zika