Top 10 Things to Know About Zika

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Chances are that you’ve heard about the Zika virus in Brazil and it’s now popping up in more South and Central American countries, as well as the Caribbean. You’ve also probably heard that a case has been reported in Texas. This can be especially scary for a pregnant woman. However, knowing the facts are sure to ease your mind a bit. Here are the top things you should know:

1. Zika is spread by a bites from a specific type of mosquito. It’s also suspected to be sexually transmitted.

2. It is not contagious and cannot be spread by skin to skin contact.

3. 80% of those affected never experience symptoms. 

4. It stays in the blood for a week.

5. Zika is being linked to cases of infants born with small heads and brain damage, a condition called microcephaly, when pregnant woman passed to pregnant women. This link is still being researched.

6. There is currently only one outbreak of Zika in the United States, consisting of 16 people in Florida.

7. U.S Health Officials say that a widespread threat is unlikely.

8. Pregnant women should avoid sex with men who have travelled to, or live in, Zika affected areas (South America, Central America, and the Caribbean) or wear condoms.

9. Pregnant women should avoid travel or wear long sleeves, pants, and mosquito repellant.

10. You should see your healthcare provider if you are pregnant and develop a fever, rash, joint pain, or red eyes within 2 weeks of travelling to Zika affected countries.

There’s a lot of alarming news going around about the Zika virus, and it’s certainly best be careful, but for most pregnant women, the chances of catching it are pretty low. Avoiding travel and unprotected sex with men who have recently been to any Zika affected countries should keep you perfectly protected. Southern states have the same type of mosquitoes as those in South and Central America, so wear mosquito repellent for added protection in those locations.


By: Alecia Stanton

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