Zika virus

 

If you are pregnant and believe you have been exposed to the Zika Virus come in and talk with a provider.

 

You have read and heard a lot lately about this disease, which has been spreading rapidly throughout the Western Hemisphere, and now seems to be reaching the United States.

 

As of yesterday (Jan 28, 2016) there had been no known or suspected case in Arizona.

 

Zika is, however, spread by a type of mosquito that does exist in our state. So, if the disease comes here, it would be spread by these mosquitos.

 

Only one in five people who are exposed to the disease will actually get sick, and the disease is usually quite mild, with symptoms lasting five to seven days. Symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (pink eye). Other commonly reported symptoms include muscle aches, headache, and pain behind the eyes.

 

The concern is that, in areas where the disease occurs, there seems to a 20-fold increase in an otherwise rare form of birth defect called microcephaly. While this association is poorly understood, microcephaly can be a very severe, life-altering disease.

 

Last week, the US Centers for Disease Control issued a travel advisory stating that women who are pregnant or might become pregnant should not travel to areas where the virus has been reported, which now seems to include most of the Americas south of our border, as well as the Caribbean.

 

The CDC also gave detailed advice about preventing mosquito bites.

 

So we recommend the following:

  •          Heed the CDC’s travel advice

  •          Avoid mosquito bites as outlined in the press release

  •          Come in and talk to one of our Providers if you are pregnant and have recently travelled to or within an area which has the Zika virus.

 

Clifford J. Goodman, Jr., MD, FACOG