Reports today indicate the Zika virus is now in Dallas, Texas. In this Dallas case, the virus was spread through sexual contact with someone who apparently recently traveled from another country known to have a Zika infection problem. This is the first known case of the Zika virus in the United States mainland. This is also the second known case of sexual transmission of this virus. Is there a cause for concern?
I did some quick research. This Zika virus is nothing like the Ebola virus. The symptoms of Zika infection only occur in about 20% of those infected. Symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain, red eyes, muscle pain, and headaches. The symptoms usually appear within a week following viral infection. This virus is spread mainly through a mosquito bite from an infected mosquito,though a blood transfusion with Zika infected blood, and now, sexual contact with a Zika-infected individual. To be clear, death is rare with Zika infection.
The Zika virus is spreading to many countries, for sure. Past research shows the main countries with this virus infection problem include Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, Puerto Rico, South America, Central America, and Mexico.
Prevention of this virus can be thought through, knowing the above-listed facts. Obviously, those travelling to or from the viral infection known countries should exercise caution. When going to these countries, you will want to prevent mosquito bites. So, wear long sleeves, long pants, stay indoors as much as possible, and use mosquito nets and insect repellents if going outside. You can also treat clothing with permethrin. If travelling from these countries, recall, only 20% of those infected exhibit symptoms. So if you may have been bitten by a mosquito, consider not giving blood and take precautions if engaging in sexual activity, for at least one week following infection. Moreover, blood tests can be done by your doctor to determine if you are infected.
Treatment for the Zika virus infection include rest, drinking plenty of fluids, taking mild analgesics for discomfort but not aspirin nor non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, since these other drugs increase hemorrhage risk. There are no vaccines to treat this; however, once infected, patients are protected from Zika infection again.
So as you can see, this is nothing like the Ebola virus. While there is some risk associated with this virus, this can be fairly easily managed.
If you appreciate our timely information on this and other issues, we invite you to experience our timely dental care. We invite you to call us at (972) 250-2580.