Zika Virus and You

file8321273697614You’ve been hearing about the Zika virus may cause severe birth defects if pregnant women receive exposure, but you may not know that this virus also holds risks for older adults.

The Zika virus is spread by mosquitos. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most individuals who are infected with this virus will not have symptoms. If symptoms are present, the most common are:

  • Joint pain
  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache

The time it takes from exposure to the virus to experiencing symptoms is currently unknown, but is likely between a few days to a week. There is no vaccine to prevent Zika virus, and no medication has been developed to treat it. Traditional recovery methods such as getting plenty of rest, taking acetaminophen to reduce fever, and drinking plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration are recommended. If you have traveled to an area that has been affected by the Zika virus and are experiencing symptoms, see your doctor and avoid getting mosquito bites to prevent transmission to others.

While the illness itself is typically mild, complications can occur. Microcephaly and other severe brain defects may occur in infants whose mothers were infected with the virus during pregnancy. It can also cause miscarriage. Guillain-Barre syndrome is a potential post-infection complication that has been linked to the virus. It can cause temporary paralysis in adults and there appears to be a higher risk for this complication among older adults.

If you’re traveling to an area that has been affected by the Zika virus, check out this Consumer Reports list of recommended insect repellants that can help protect you from the mosquitoes that carry the virus.

We’re sharing these tips because we want you and your loved ones to stay safe and healthy. If you or someone you care about has potentially been exposed to the Zika virus, consult your physician.

Schuerman Law has been working with personal injury claims for over 40 years. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.