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Zika Virus Information

Zika is a virus spread to people primarily through the bite of an Aedes mosquito; these mosquitoes most frequently bite in the daytime but can also bite at night. According to the CDC, there have been no reported cases of Zika virus disease transmission in Ohio or anywhere else in the continental United States at this time. However, cases have been reported in travelers returning to the United States, and recently in the U.S. there has been a case of Zika being sexually transmitted. Even though there are no recorded cases in Ohio, the Aedes mosquito that can hold the virus does live here in our state. - Haley White, Intern at the Perry County Ohio Health Department

 

Zika is a virus spread to people primarily through the bite of an Aedes mosquito; these mosquitoes most frequently bite in the daytime but can also bite at night. According to the CDC, there have been no reported cases of Zika virus disease transmission in Ohio or anywhere else in the continental United States at this time.  However, cases have been reported in travelers returning to the United States, and recently in the U.S. there has been a case of Zika being sexually transmitted. Even though there are no recorded cases in Ohio, the Aedes mosquito that can hold the virus does live here in our state.

The virus causes a flu-like illness which is typically mild to the average person usually only resulting in either no symptoms or mild fever, red eyes, joint and muscle pain, and/or itching and a rash. These symptoms and the virus itself are usually cleared up within a week or even less.

Although the virus is non-threatening to the average person, it can however be verydangerous to a pregnant woman’s unborn child. Currently the CDC is monitoring 320 pregnant women here in the U.S. who have contracted the Zika virus. Pregnant women infected with the Zika virus often give birth to children with Microcephaly, a condition in which a baby’s head is significantly smaller than expected often due to abnormal brain development.

Symptoms of Microcephaly can include things like backward-sloping forehead, small head size, dwarfism/short stature, seizures, hyperactivity, facial distortions, coordination difficulties, and delays in speech and movement.

Because the Zika virus only has mild symptoms it usually goes unnoticed, although a simple blood or urine test done by a doctor can confirm a Zika infection.

When it comes to treatment of the virus there is no vaccine to prevent it, or medicine to treat it. You can treat Zika on your own by getting plenty of rest and drinking lots of fluids to prevent dehydration. You can take acetaminophen to reduce your fever and headache although you should not take aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) until dengue fever, another mosquito borne virus, can be ruled out to reduce the risk of bleeding.

You can find out more information on the Zika virus and how to protect you and your family by visiting WWW.CDC.gov or contacting the Perry County Health Department.

-Haley White

The following table contains downloadable Zika-related PDF flyers from the CDC:

The basics of the virus and how to protect against it Download
Mosquito bite prevention Download
What we know about Zika Download
Pregnant and living in an area with Zika?
Download
Virus testing for pregnant women living in an area with Zika Download
How to protect yourself from getting Zika from sex Download
Help control mosquitoes that spread the Zika virus Download
Build your own Zika prevention kit for pregnant women Download
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