Be Wary of the Zika Virus This February Vacation

mosquitoes - primary vector of zika virusBy this point, you’ve probably heard of the Zika Virus. For the last year, it has spread rapidly throughout South America and has recently reached as far North as the Caribbean. The virus is transmitted primarily through daytime mosquitoes, which are initially infected from biting infected humans. The first concrete evidence of Zika Virus being found in humans was in 1952 after a serological survery was conducted in Uganda and Nigeria. For the next 60 years, the virus continued to spread around Africa, to then later Asia, before it finally emerged in the Americas in 2015.
Fortunately, Zika virus isn’t deadly; only one-in-five people infected with the Zika Virus even develops symptoms. Furthermore, there have been zero recorded deaths from Zika Virus. Its symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Muscle Pain
  • Joint Pain
  • Hive-like Rash
  • Malaise

These symptoms will generally disappear within a few weeks after initially developing. While the severity of its symptoms are relatively mild, there have been several cases reported in South America of babies in utero developing permanent birth defects as a result of their mother contracting the virus.  This has prompted the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to issue a Level 2 Travel Warning (Travel-Enhanced Precautions) for people travelling to countries where the Zika Virus has been found.
These countries include:

  • Brazil
  • Jamaica
  • Honduras
  • Haiti
  • Mexico
  • Saint Martin
  • U.S. Virgin Islands

With February vacation around the corner, it’s important for people to stay informed of all the recent developments concerning Zika Virus. While people have known about the virus since the 1940’s, there’s relatively little information about the Virus. For people looking to escape the cold by trekking down to the Caribbean, try and avoid mosquito-rich environments, such as swamps or bogs.
The CDC highly recommends that pregnant women refrain from visiting any areas where the Zika Virus has been found. This also applies to women who are actively trying to conceive. Until more is known about the virus, the CDC will continue to stand by its advisory. Everyone else should be safe enough to travel, as none of the virus’ symptoms are life-threatening.
As of now, no vaccine capable of immunizing people against Zika Virus exists. There is also yet to be an effective medicine developed to treat the virus. However, each of its symptoms are relatively treatable. Visit us at AFC Urgent Care Methuen for treatment against these symptoms. We can expedite your healing process by providing treatment for symptoms including fevers and conjunctivitis. We can additionally administer travel vaccinations and medicine, served to combat a number of other foreign bacteria.
If you feel as though you have contracted Zika Virus in your travels, visit our facility any day of the week. Our board-certified physicians can help monitor the virus and provide you with the medication to get you feeling 100% as soon as possible. To speak with one of our medical professionals, call us at 978-975-0700. We look forward to helping make your February Vacation as relaxing as possible!