The Zika virus has been all over the news for several months. If you haven't visited one of the countries with travel notices, you may not have worried about the early signs of the Zika virus which is spread by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. But recently, the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) found that Zika can be transmitted sexually, which increases your risk of being infected.
According to Medical News Today, it is rare for Zika virus to be severe enough to warrant hospitalization, and even more rare for the virus to cause death. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the virus an international public health emergency in February, when Zika was linked to microcephaly in the infants of women who were infected with the virus while pregnant. As of the writing of this article, the CDC reports that 388 Zika cases have been confirmed in the United States, all of which have been travel related. Of those who have been infected, 33 were pregnant women and eight cases have spread through sexual contact.
Although Zika virus diagnosis can only be confirmed by laboratory testing which looks for the presence of Zika virus RNA in the blood or other body fluids, such as urine or saliva, it is important to familiarize yourself with the symptoms of the virus. Here are some of the early signs you may have Zika and should contact a doctor STAT.
A person's normal temperature is 98.6 degrees F (37 degress C). Most doctors will consider it a fever if your temperature reaches 100.4 degress F (38 degrees C), according to Mayo Clinic. Medicines such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be taken to lower your temperature.
A macupapular rash, which is bumpy and flat, begins on the face and then spreads all over the body. According to Med Mum, the Zika rash can be either in the form of small spots like the measles, or small and red like Scarlet Fever. The rash usually fades away within three days or so and requires no treatment.
3. Joint And Muscle Pain
Zika causes aching in the joints and muscles. The most common pain is in the small joints of the hands and feet, according to the World Health Organization.
4. Red Eyes
Zika is known to cause conjunctivitis, also known as"pink eye" or "red eye," because the sclera, according to the CDC. If it doesn't clear up withing two weeks, you should contact your doctor.
People infected by the Zika virus often complain of headaches and strong pain behind the eyes which can also be treated by ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
6. Abdominal Pain, Vomiting, And Diarrhea
The Zika virus can also cause abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea. Hydration is key when you are losing fluids.
According to the Pan American Health Organization, general malaise, or a feeling of discomfort, illness, or uneasiness begins a few days after the bite of an infected mosquito. This feeling can last for up to a week, so keep an eye on the progress.
8. No Symptoms
The majority of people infected with Zika virus do not display any symptoms. Medical News Today reports that according to the Pan American Health Organization, only one in four people infected with Zika virus develop symptoms.