What Texans need to know about Zika Virus
What is Zika?
Zika is a mosquito-transmitted disease caused by the Zika Virus. This virus is not new, but from 2007 to 2014 the virus spread into new countries and perhaps became more dangerous to people. The illness caused by the Zika virus is usually mild compared to other mosquito-carried ilnesses like dengue fever, West Nile Virus, and chikungunya. only one in five people infected with Zika will feel ill. These individuals typically develop mild symptoms that include fever, joint pain, red itchy eyes (conjunctivitis) and rash. Symptoms typically occur 2 to 7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Symptoms in some individuals may be more severe. The association between zika and Guillain-Barre syndrome (a type of paralysis) is under investigation.
Until recently, Zika was considered a mild disease with few lasting effects. However, public health officials are now concerned that pregnant women who contract Zika can pass the virus on to their unborn babies, which may result in a birth defect known as microcephaly. Microcephaly is a condition where the fetal brain and head to not fully develop and reach normal size. Currently, there is no vaccine or preventive treatment for Zika, nor is there a cure for microcephaly. For more information about the effects of Zika on humans, see https://vitalrecord.tamhsc.edu/zika360/.
Zika Precautions for Women