Zika is a mosquito-borne virus prevalent in Florida that is primarily transmitted to people though the bite of an infected mosquito. Zika can also be passed from pregnant mothers to their unborn children, and through person-to-person contact including sexual intercourse and blood transfusions.
Signs and symptoms of Zika infection may include: a mild fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis, body aches, headache, eye pain, and vomiting. The CDC reports that many people infected with Zika virus will not have symptoms or will only have mild symptoms.
If you develop these symptoms and you’ve been in an area with Zika present see a healthcare provider – especially if you are pregnant. The CDC advises that you should be sure to tell your doctor or other healthcare provider where you traveled.
Zika infection during pregnancy is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects and has been linked to problems in infants, including eye defects, hearing loss, and impaired growth, according to the CDC. Guillain-Barre syndrome, a sickness of the nervous system, is also very likely triggered by Zika in a small number of cases.
ZIKA IN FLORIDA
The Florida Department of Health has been tracking the number of Zika infections across the state since the outbreak began in February 2016. Find an up-to-date list of all the cases here.
To reduce the risk of mosquito bites, drain any water collected in garbage cans, gutters, pool covers or any other containers so mosquitos will have fewer places to breed.
To keep mosquitoes outside buildings, use screens on windows, doors, porches and patios and be sure to keep them sealed.
Health experts recommend the use of insect repellant. More information on insect repellent use and safety can be found at the CDC’s website.
Click here to read about more steps you can take to protect yourself and others from Zika infection.
There is currently no specific medicine for Zika.
HELPFUL FLORIDA LINKS:
- Florida Department of Health
- Manatee County Mosquito Control District
- Sarasota County Mosquito Management Services
- Zika Virus Updates From Governor Rick Scott
HELPFUL FEDERAL LINKS:
- CDC Zika Virus Information
- Zika Virus Response Updates from Food and Drug Administration
- Zika Virus Information for Travelers from U.S. Department of State
- National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases