Months ago, global officials declared the Zika virus a public health emergency after it spread rapidly throughout Central and South America, posing a discernible threat to pregnant women. While there are still many unknowns about the virus, scientists and researchers have been able to link the virus to serious birth defects such as microcephaly, or unusually small heads and underdeveloped brains. At the same time, doctors have been able to narrow down symptoms and signs you might experience if are you are bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus. Most people do not exhibit any symptoms or even know they had the virus, but others might experience flu-like symptoms with a rash as the most prominent clue that you might have been infected. And in case that wasn't enough to make you want to grab the bug spray, photos of Zika rashes should do the trick.
The Zika rash is made up of both flat and bumpy small spots all over the body, typically starting on the face. According to Texas Children's Hospital Chair and tropical disease expert Dr. Peter J. Hotez, the rash may sometimes manifest as itchy and uncomfortable.
If the thought of mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus in your backyard this summer hasn’t made you to keep them from buzzing around, having a look at these photos of Zika rashed, which will definitely make you want to slather on adequate amounts of bug spray all summer long:
A team of doctors from New York — who had previously treated a Zika patient — published a report earlier this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s JAMA Dermatology about how the virus carries very distinct symptoms so that other doctors would know how to detect a Zika rash. In the report, the patient infected with Zika — a 44-year-old man who was on a six-day vacation in Puerto Rico — had a headache and was lethargic three days after he returned home. One day later, he noticed a rash on his arms, on the sides of his hands, and his palms. Over the next 24 hours, the rash spread all the way down his body and the skin on his feet like they were burning.
According to the report, "itching was not a major feature" of the rash. After the patient felt burning pain on his feet, he felt joint pains in his wrists, knees, and ankles. His rash began to show improvements after five days of symptoms and was completely gone after eight days.
While the patient in the report did not experience the flu-like symptoms sometimes associated with the virus — cough, sore throat, diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting — he did note that his eyes appeared bloodshot, or in medical terms, that he had conjunctivitis, which is also a symptom of the virus.
If you believe you’ve been infected by a mosquito carrying the Zika virus and start to show signs of a bad rash similar to what was seen in these pictures, do not hesitate to check with your doctor. Symptoms of the rash of the distinct — both appearance and the pain felt are big signs it might related to Zika.
It's important to know what it looks and feels like to help doctors and yourself identify the virus as soon as possible. Stocking up on plenty of bug spray is not a bad idea, especially if you are pregnant, to help keep buzzing mosquitoes as far as away as you can.