The Zika Virus disease is caused by a virus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. The virus was first discovered in the Western Hemisphere in May 2015. Since then, the Zika virus has been spreading throughout much of the Americas in a mosquito-to-human-to-mosquito cycle. This virus usually causes no illness or relatively mild symptoms. However, during the current outbreak, severe outcomes including microcephaly in infants, fetal loss, and Guillain-Barre syndrome have been reported. While these more severe outcomes are still under study, it is important for us to be aware of this virus and be aware of how the virus might affect travel out of the country.
Zika Virus Fast Facts
- People with the Zika virus disease usually have symptoms that include: mild fever, skin rashes, con- junctivitis, muscle and joint pain, and headaches.
- Symptoms usually last 2-7 days.
- There is no specific treatment or vaccine available at this time.
- The best form of prevention is protecting from mosquito bites.
- The virus is known to circulate in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and the Pacific.
This list is effective as of 1/27/2016.Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Cape Verde, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Samoa, Suriname, U.S. Virgin Islands, Venezuela
Mosquitoes and their breeding sites pose a significant risk factor for Zika virus infection. Prevention and control relies on reducing mosquitoes through source reduction (removal and modification of breeding sites) and reducing contact between mosquitoes and people.
Use insect repellent
Wear clothes (preferably light-colored) that cover as much of the body as possible. When travelling use physical barriers such as screens, closed doors and windows; and sleeping under mosquito nets. Travelers should take the basic precautions described above to protect themselves from mosquito bites.
First Case in Minnesota
The Minnesota Department of Health has reported the first case of Zika virus disease in a Minnesota resident this year. The case was an Anoka County woman in her 60s. She became ill on Jan. 1, after traveling to Honduras. She was not hospitalized and is expected to make a full recovery. A news release on the situation will be out shortly at http://www.health.state.mn.us/news/
At this time, it important to note that no cases of Zika virus have originated in the continental USA. Those individuals who have been diagnosed with Zika virus had all recently travelled outside of the country. For more information about travelling to countries with confirmed Zika virus please review: http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/s0315-zika-virus-travel.html