For a summer that is supposed to be filled with fun and sun is a summer that could potentially be filled with fear — that is fear of Zika, of course. From cancelled vacations to wearing longer layers outdoors it seems like no matter where you turn or plan your vacations this summer, the threat of Zika is imminent and out there. While it is important to prevent Zika from happening, it is also important to be educated on what Zika symptoms feel like (so those who are infected can get tested right away). Those curious might be asking, what does Zika rash feel like?
Zika comes with a bevy of symptoms that could be associated with other common illnesses — so it is important to identify the symptoms and get tested for Zika right away. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, many people infected with Zika will only experience the symptoms mildly or won't have any symptoms at all. Yikes. The most common symptoms? Fever, joint pain, red eyes and a rash — with the symptoms lasting for a few days to a week.
It has been reported that Zika rash can feel like a mild rash or a burning sensation — it all depends on the person.
In February a man in New York came down with Zika. According to NBC News he had a rash that started on his arms and hands but then spread to his entire body, including his feet — which were described to feel like they were on fire. I repeat, on fire. But the report mentions that an itching feeling was not a major feature. So while the rash might have felt like fire, it wasn't itchy — just very painful and was gone in eight days.
The Zika rash is also reported to be flat, red in color, with some small raised bumps. And pain from the Zika rash could be pain associated with muscle aches and joint pain, which Zika also causes. However, there is no reported treatment for Zika rash other than waiting out the symptoms for a few days. There are also natural remedies to soothe itchy skin, like oatmeal baths — but those with Zika rash should definitely consult a doctor first before treating it.
The CDC does suggest, however, drinking plenty of fluids, getting rest, and taking Tylenol or other acetaminophen drugs to reduce the pain and swelling associated with Zika symptoms. But doctors are the best people to go to helping relieve pain in this situation, especially when Zika is involved.
Zika rash is not something out of the ordinary — and when it comes to the pain felt from it, it can be assuring to know the pain lasts for a little over a week. It is important to know what the pain feels like so people with Zika can get it identified right away.