Zika
February 13th, 2017 | by: MacKenzie Starkey | Category: Diseases

What to know:

Zika virus disease is caused by the Zika virus, which is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus). These mosquitoes are not native to California. However, since 2011 they have been detected in several California counties.The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting up to a week, and many people do not have symptoms or will have only mild symptoms. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly and other severe brain defects. Thus far in California, Zika virus infections have been documented only in people who were infected while traveling outside the United States or through sexual contact with an infected traveler. To date there has been no local mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus in California.

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Prevent Mosquito Bites 

1) Use insect repellent

2) Protect your baby or child

3) Treat clothing and gear

4) Take steps to control mosquitoes inside and outside your home

Controlling Mosquitoes at Home 

Travel

Plan for Travel

Zika Travel Poster

Protect Yourself During Sex

Zika can be passed through sex from a person with Zika to his or her partners. Sex includes vaginal, anal, and oral sex and the sharing of sex toys.

  • Zika can be passed through sex, even if the person does not have symptoms at the time.
    • It can be passed from a person with Zika before their symptoms start, while they have symptoms, and after their symptoms end.
    • Though not well documented, the virus may also be passed by a person who carries the virus but never develops symptoms.

More information Here

Zika and Sex: Information for pregnant women living in areas with Zika

Zika and Sex: Information for men who have pregnant partners and live in or recently traveled to areas with Zika

Zika and Sexual Transmission: For People Whose Partner Traveled to an Area with Zika

Through mosquito bites

Zika virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus). These are the same mosquitoes that spread dengue and chikungunya viruses.

  • These mosquitoes typically lay eggs in and near standing water in things like buckets, bowls, animal dishes, flower pots and vases.  They prefer to bite people, and live indoors and outdoors near people.
    • Mosquitoes that spread chikungunya, dengue, and Zika are aggressive daytime biters, but they can also bite at night.
  • Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on a person already infected with the virus. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other people through bites.

From mother to child

  • A pregnant woman can pass Zika virus to her fetus during pregnancy. Zika is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects. We are studying the full range of other potential health problems that Zika virus infection during pregnancy may cause.
  • A pregnant woman already infected with Zika virus can pass the virus to her fetus during the pregnancy or around the time of birth.
  • To date, there are no reports of infants getting Zika virus through breastfeeding. Because of the benefits of breastfeeding, mothers are encouraged to breastfeed even in areas where Zika virus is found.

Through sex

  • Zika can be passed through sexfrom a person who has Zika to his or her partners. Zika can be passed through sex, even if the infected person does not have symptoms at the time.
    • It can be passed from a person with Zika before their symptoms start, while they have symptoms, and after their symptoms end.
    • Though not well documented, the virus may also be passed by a person who carries the virus but never develops symptoms.
  • Studies are underway to find out how long Zika stays in the semen and vaginal fluids of people who have Zika, and how long it can be passed to sex partners. We know that Zika can remain in semen longer than in other body fluids, including vaginal fluids, urine, and blood.

Through blood transfusion

  • As of February, 1, 2016, there have not been any confirmed blood transfusion transmission cases in the United States.
  • There have been multiple reports of blood transfusion transmission cases in Brazil. These reports are currently being investigated.
  • During the French Polynesian outbreak, 2.8% of blood donors tested positive for Zika and in previous outbreaks, the virus has been found in blood donors.

Through laboratory exposure

  • Prior to the current outbreak, there were four reports of laboratory acquired Zika virus infections, although the route of transmission was not clearly established in all cases.
  • As of June 15, 2016, there has been one reported case of laboratory-acquired Zika virus disease in the United States.

Risks

  • Anyone who lives in or travels to an area where Zika virus is found and has not already been infected with Zika virus can get it from mosquito bites. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.

Symptoms

Many people infected with Zika virus won’t have symptoms or will only have mild symptoms. The most common symptoms of Zika are

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Joint pain
  • Conjunctivitis (red eyes)

Other symptoms include:

  • Muscle pain
  • Headache

More Information Here 

Testing

Diagnosis

  • Diagnosis of Zika is based on a person’s recent travel history, symptoms, and test results.
  • A blood or urine test can confirm a Zika infection.
  • Your doctor or other healthcare provider may order blood tests to look for Zika or other similar viruses like dengue or chikungunya.

More information Here

For Nonpregnant Women: A Positive Zika Virus Test: What does it mean for me

For Parents: A Positive Zika Virus Test: What does it mean for my child?

For Pregnant Women: A Positive Zika Virus Test: What does it mean for me

For Men: A Positive Zika Virus Test: What does it mean for me?

What happens when I am tested for Zika and when will I get my results?

Treatment

There is no specific medicine or vaccine for Zika virus.

  • Treat the symptoms.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Drink fluids to prevent dehydration.
  • Take medicine such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or paracetamol to reduce fever and pain.
  • Do not take aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) until dengue can be ruled out to reduce the risk of bleeding.
  • If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication.

More information Here 

Tips & Resources

Tips for Everyone

  • Always follow the product label instructions.
  • Reapply insect repellent as directed.
    • Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing.
    • If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second.

Tips for Babies & Children

an adult male applying insect repellent to a child's face

  • Always follow instructions when applying insect repellent to children.
  • Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old.
  • Do not apply insect repellent onto a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, and cut or irritated skin.
    • Adults: Spray insect repellent onto your hands and then apply to a child’s face.
  • Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD) on children under 3 years old.

Natural insect repellents (repellents not registered with EPA)

Zika & Pregnancy

If you live in an area with Zika, or if you or your sexual partner travel to an area with Zika, follow the steps below to protect your pregnancy.

Providers

Zika virus disease is a nationally notifiable condition. Healthcare providers should report suspected or confirmed Zika virus infections immediately to the Kern County Public Health Services Department to facilitate diagnosis and mitigate risk of local transmission. Call (661) 321-3000 during business hours; during weekends, holidays or after 5:00 pm, call (661) 324-6551 to page the health officer on call.

Zika Health Bulletin  *NEW*

Zika testing algorithm (color)