Are You at Risk for Zika Virus?

It’s November 17, 2016. Happy Thursday friends, thank you for joining me today. I know the Zika virus is not a fun subject, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore it. The truth is; when  I heard about Zika, I felt bad for those who were affected by it, yet, relieved that it wasn’t in the U.S.

That sounds selfish, I know. But after all I’d been through with a breast cancer diagnosis, I just needed a clean break from the medical profession. However, ignorant bliss can only last so long. I decided it was time to learn more about this unusual virus. The following is what I gathered.

May this find you well,

What is the Zika virus? Zika virus disease is caused by the Zika virus. I couldn’t find anything more specific than that.

How do I get it? Zika virus is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito species, called Aedes. Once a person is infected by Zika they can transfer the virus to another person.

For example,

  • A pregnant woman can pass Zika to the fetus during pregnancy.
  • A person with Zika can pass it to his or her sexual partners through sex (crazy, right?)
  • It can be passed through blood transfusions.

Are older people at a greater risk? Yes. According to the professionals most healthy people can fight off Zika. In fact, they may not even have any symptoms. But as we age our immune system weakens making it harder to fight off illness and infection.

But aging isn’t the only factor. Anyone with a suppressed immune system is at risk including those with chronic illness and cancer. Everyone should be taking precautions.

What kind of precautions?

  • Avoid travel to areas where cases of Zika are more prevalent.
  • If you do, use insect repellent spray or lotion, bug netting, and wear long sleeves and pants.
  • Practice safe sex. By now, this should go without saying; use a condom no matter what, people. But especially so if you or your partner have recently traveled to an area with Zika

What can I do if I think I have Zika? 

  • Go to your doctor. A blood or urine test can confirm or rule out Zika virus. 
  • There is currently no treatment for Zika. You could use something like acetaminophen to reduce fever and pain. Again, I’m not a doctor, I’m a reporter. So do your research and go to the doctor.

End of article.

Sources; Pexels image. Center for Disease Control National Institute on Aging and Oncolink 

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