The potential for Zika Virus in Montgomery, Alabama has raised concerns for River Region residents.
Contact River Region Pest Control for Zika Abatement Spraying services.
The first confirmed travel-related case of Zika virus in an Alabama resident was reported in February of this year (2016). What are the risks?
The Zika virus can lead to Zika virus disease, a medical condition that has become fairly widespread recently.
While it’s rare to die from Zika, the fact is that few people realize they have this disease because the symptoms aren’t usually serious enough to send them to the emergency room or hospital.
Still, having the Zika virus disease is not a pleasant experience.
Origin and History
The Zika virus was first found in Uganda in 1947.
It gets its name from the Zika forest, the area it was first catalogued. In 1952, doctors recorded the first known case of Zika virus disease in humans. Ever since its discovery, many outbreaks have been catalogued, mostly in Africa and Asia.
Prior to 2007, however, few cases of Zika had actually been studied and documented because the few who had the virus went to the doctor. The symptoms are also very similar to other illnesses, so some may have been misdiagnosed.
In 2015, the first case of Zika virus was diagnosed in Brazil, and it has since been discovered across North and South America.
The World Health Organization has declared the virus a public health emergency.
How Zika Spreads
The Zika virus is spread by the Aedes mosquito.
When this species bites someone, they can pass on the virus. It usually appears anywhere from a couple of days to a week after the patient is bitten, although the actual incubation period is unknown.
Once infected, patients need to be careful not to be bitten by mosquitoes.
That’s because a non-infected mosquito can pick up the virus from an infected person and then bite someone else, passing on the virus.
The symptoms of the Zika virus disease aren’t actually that serious.
Most only have a mild fever, joint pain, rash, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other symptoms can include headache and muscle pain.
The symptoms may last for a few days to a week. Generally, the virus remains within the body for a week or so, but it has been found to remain longer in some patients.
Pregnant women who develop signs of Zika after visiting a place where the virus has been reported should contact the authorities and visit their doctor immediately.
The disease is diagnosed by a blood test.
How Do You Treat Zika?
There is currently no way of actually treating the virus.
Because the symptoms are often mild, doctors usually advise their patients to simply rest, drink plenty of fluids, and take over the counter pain relief medication for the headache and aches.
If a doctor does not do a blood test, patients should avoid taking aspirin or any NSAIDS medication until a doctor is certain the patient does not have dengue.
As always, patients need to discuss any medication they take with their doctor.
There is no vaccine or other way to prevent the spread of the Zika virus other than to avoid mosquitoes.
To that end, those who live in areas where the virus has been detected should take care when going outdoors and should take action to deal with any mosquitoes they see in their homes.
Once a person has Zika, they are very unlikely to contract the disease again.