The Zika Virus is not a new virus, but as you have seen in recent news, it is becoming more prevalent. Symptoms of the virus are similar to flu, yellow fever, rubella, measles and malaria, but 4 out of 5 people who contract are symptom free.
There are 5 known routes of transmission:
- #1 – Vector borne through infected mosquitos
- Mother to fetus transmission – causes microcephaly in babies
- Sexual intercourse male to female – have not yet seen the reverse – virus stays present in semen longer than it does in blood
- blood transfusion
- potentially saliva/urine
Recommended steps for virus mitigation:
- keep windows closed and air conditioning running
- wear long sleeve shirts and pants
- use EPA registered repellent with DEET
- treat clothing and gear with permethrin
- consult healthcare advisers when traveling
There is no vaccine or cure at the this time. A vaccine should be developed within 2-3 years. Current treatment consists of supportive care. We do not know the incubation period, however it is thought to be around two weeks. CDC believes that once you have the virus, you are immune.
Continue to disinfect surfaces regularly and maintain proper hand hygiene.