Zika is all over Florida’s news right now. Governor Rick Scott recently traveled to Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood, a site of a recent outbreak, to discuss the state’s plans to handle the disease, while Tampa mayor Bob Buckhorn has promised an aggressive campaign against Zika in the Tampa Bay area. As of August 24th, there is one reported case of non-travel related Zika in Pinellas county, with other cases popping up around Tampa Bay. While Zika has been a prevalent issue in South America for months now, the recent increase of cases in Florida has many residents wondering:
What exactly is Zika?
Zika virus disease, commonly referred to as just Zika, is a disease that spreads through mosquito bites. While it is typically transmitted via mosquito, it may also spread from a pregnant woman to her fetus, or can be sexually transmitted between partners.
The symptoms may include:
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain
The virus is difficult to diagnose because of the symptom’s similarity to flu symptoms. Additionally, many people experience no symptoms at all, even though the disease is in their bloodstream.
Since many of these symptoms are exhibited by someone with the flu, it is easy to confuse this virus and the influenza virus. If you have recently traveled to an area with Zika and are experiencing these symptoms, you should go see a doctor for a diagnosis. If you are pregnant and have these symptoms, see a doctor right away.
While Zika is not typically fatal, it can have severe health consequences for pregnant women and their babies. It can cause microcephaly, a birth defect in which a child’s head is smaller than normal. This can lead to improper brain development. It is also linked with Guillian-Barre’s Syndrome, a disease in which a person’s nervous system attacks their own nerve cells, leading to muscle weakness or paralysis.
Currently, there is no vaccine that can prevent Zika. However, the virus is prevented by avoiding mosquitos. Wear insect-repellant or long sleeves when outside, particularly in places where mosquitoes are common. Remove any standing water from around your home, as standing water attracts mosquitos. If your partner lives in or has visited an area with Zika, use protection during sexual activity. If you are pregnant, take special precautions. Do not travel to an area with an outbreak.
Now that Zika is becoming a serious topic in Florida, be informed of symptoms and risks.
The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.