ZIKA UPDATE

There has been a lot happening with ZIKA since our first update and it’s been back in the news this week.  We are finding out more and more about this disease over time and we now know that although Zika is most commonly spread via mosquito bites, in particular the Aedes species, it can also be transmitted sexually or through blood transfusion in rare cases. These mosquitoes also bite during the daytime, so please take extra precautions during this time when in a high risk area. Keep insect repellent handy under your mosquito net, by the bed so you are prepared as soon as you start the day.  Dawn and dusk are key feeding times for mosquitoes.

This week, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  confirmed that Zika causes Birth Defects and is ‘scarier’ than first thought as it is probable that it can (currently only rarely) cause neurological problems in adults through Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), in addition to the birth defects already discussed.

The CDC also recently confirmed there is no vaccine but trials could start as early as September 2016.  It will realistically take at least 4 years to be ready to use.   To prevent Zika, according to CDC “prevent mosquito bites and avoid exposure to semen from someone who has been exposed to Zika”.  So avoiding mosquito bites still remains the number one way to not catch the Zika virus.

 

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