The number of Zika virus infections in Florida is on the rise, with the possibility of the virus spreading to other areas in the U.S. But as scary as that is, there ARE ways to protect yourself — starting with recognizing if you’ve been infected. Check out our list of the warning signs you need to look out for!
At least 10 additional Zika cases were identified in the Miami area as of Aug. 1, which marked the virus’ first known outbreak through the spread of mosquitos in the continental U.S. And while federal investigators have been trying their best to trace the transmission and contain the virus, it IS a scary thing for a lot of people.
As of right now, people — especially pregnant women — have even been advised to avoid traveling to the Miami area! But while Zika does pose a real threat, knowing the symptoms to look out for is one of the best ways to avoid spreading the virus to others. And knowing these symptoms is super important — especially because they imitate a flu or cold.
— New Day (@NewDay) August 2, 2016
Those who are infected with Zika may not have any obvious symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But those who DO have symptoms typically experience mild fevers, rash, joint or muscle pain, itchy red eyes, or headaches — much like the flu. The CDC warns that symptoms can last for several days to a week, however, those who have been infected are usually not sick enough to go to the hospital.
If your symptoms continue after a few days, it’s recommended that you seek a doctor or health care provider to rule out Zika, which is done through blood tests and examination. If tests come back positive, the CDC recommends getting plenty of rest, preventing dehydration by drinking fluids, taking a fever reducer like acetaminophen, and abstaining from sex and travel.
Zika is most dangerous for pregnant women as the virus can cause severe birth defects in infants. And although death is very rare, the virus CAN cause death in certain circumstances when people do not realize they’ve become infected. After all, the virus does remains in an infected person’s blood for approximately one week, and because most people won’t even know they have it, they may continue to travel, and engage in sexual intercourse — ultimately worsening the spread of the virus. To protect yourself from the virus in the first place, use insect repellents and avoid infested areas.
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — are you worried about catching Zika?