This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a chilling warning:
Pregnant women and their partners should stay clear of the Wynwood neighborhood, just north of downtown Miami. Those who have visited Wynwood are urged to visit their healthcare provider.
The reason? 15 individuals from that area were infected with the Zika virus after being bitten by local mosquitoes.
But what if you live in the Wynwood area? What if avoiding the region is just not possible? What about the very real possibility that the mosquitoes will spread outside of Wynwood?
It’s also important to keep an eye out for the potential symptoms of the virus.
While not everyone will display symptoms, those who do will notice the following.
A Zika-induced fever will be similar to fevers caused by other mosquito-borne viruses, like dengue.
A Zika rash will present with raised, red and itchy bumps. It typically starts on the face and spreads.
3. Joint Pain
Those who have suffered from the Zika virus report strong, fatiguing joint pain. In some cases, the pain can be so severe that walking and moving hands can become difficult.
4. Red Eyes
The Zika virus can cause bloodshot eyes. This is typically one of the first symptoms to appear and it’s accompanied by uncomfortable head pressure around the eyes.
Those infected with the Zika virus are very rarely sick enough to be admitted to a hospital. Rather, doctors typically recommend getting lots of rest, drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding sex and travel.
Risks Posed By Zika
While the virus is not all that harmful to an adult, the trouble begins if that adult is pregnant, becomes pregnant or gets their partner pregnant while infected.
You see, the it causes a whole long list of birth defects, including:
- Microcephaly (incomplete brain development)
- Vision problems
- Trouble feeding
- Delayed development
So far, thousands of birth defects have been reported, with the majority occurring in developing countries like Brazil.