We just posted a pretty sweet live map of where people are tweeting about Zika: http://how2med.com/zika-visualizer/. This led to some requests for must know facts about Zika, as if you hadn’t heard enough already:
- While it sounds like the name of a Spanish house band, it’s name derives from the Zika Forest in Uganda where the virus was first isolated in 1947 and originally only infected monkeys. Then some monkey-biting mosquitos started to bite humans and it moved across the Pacific Ocean to the Americas between 2007 and 2015. The result was a pandemic.
- It’s a virus. There is no treatment. There is no vaccine.
- Here is a running list of where infections have been reported and endemic areas: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/index.html
- You can get it by: bite from an infected mosquito, sexual intercourse, blood transfusion.
- What’s the big deal? Infected pregnant women can pass the disease to their fetus. An infected fetus can have birth defects, especially catastrophic ones affecting brain development. There may be increased risk of Guillane-barre syndrome for anyone with the virus.
- If you get the virus, but then get pregnant later, future pregnancies will not be affected.
- Symptoms: none for most people, some people get a fever, rash, headache, joint pains, muscle aches, and red eyes.
- Should I get tested?: testing is recommended for (a) any pregnant woman (with or without symptoms) who has traveled to a Zika endemic area or had intercourse with someone with Zika, (b) any person with symptoms who was exposed to Zika (mosquito bite while in an endemic area or intercourse with a carrier).
- How do I prevent it? Don’t go to endemic areas if you plan on being pregnant or are pregnant, do all the normal mosquito bite prevention stuff you already do (repellant, nets, long clothing), use protection during intercourse.
Apparently, it’s not a Spanish house band but there is a band with the name Zika: https://www.discogs.com/artist/2638955-%C5%BDika-Luna-Band