Zika virus

What is Zika virus?

Zika a viral disease transmitted by a mosquito, but also through other contacts. The symptoms that occur include fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, headache, fatigue and joint pain. The symptoms occur a few days to a week after exposure and last for less than a week. The main issue with Zika virus are it has been proven to cause microcephaly in babies of pregnant women who acquire the disease. It also has been linked to a rare disease called Guillain Barre, causing neurological issues.

How is Zika transmitted?

It is primarily transmitted through the bite of a specific mosquito, Aedes. This mosquito is unusual as it bites all day, not just the typical dawn and dust times. It can be transmitted also through pregnancy to the fetus, sexual contact, laboratory exposure and blood transfusions.

How long to wait before planning pregnancy?

Females should wait 8 weeks after possible exposure or travel before trying to conceive.

For males, the new recommendation is after traveling to an area with zika virus, wait 6 months before trying to conceive.

Do I need mosquito repellant if I am not planning pregnancy?

It is a good idea as we are finding out new information about Zika every week. It also can cause rare neurological issues, such as Guillain Barre, so it is safer to avoid exposure. The recommendation is repellant on exposed areas of skin and treating clothes with repellant, for example picaridin.

How is Zika treated?

It is treated based on symptoms for comfort as it is a virus with no specific cure.

What preventative measures should a person take?

Using mosquito repellant on skin, treatment of clothes and the use of condoms.

Do I still need to worry about Zika through the fall?

Aedes mosquitos prefer temperatures over 80 degrees to flourish, but will still be biting if the temperatures are > 50 degrees Fahrenheit. They will hibernate in the winter, which means as soon as temperatures become warmer, we will see them again with Zika virus.



https://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.htmlWinter Refuge for Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus Mosquitoes in Hanoi during Winter

  • Takashi Tsunoda,
  • Tran Chi Cuong,
  • Tran Duc Dong,
  • Nguyen Thi Yen,
  • Nguyen Hoang Le,
  • Tran Vu Phong,
  • Noboru Minakawa