Disease, Guides & Primers, Health & Fitness

A Boatload of Nope: An AT Surgical Primer on the Zika Virus

Curious about the latest epidemic to grace our planet? Read more to learn more!

Q: Where did it come from?
A: Zika Forest

In 1947 in Uganda, a virus spread by day active mosquitos was first isolated in the Zika Forest of Uganda. Named the Zika Virus, this relative to dengue, yellow fever, and West Nile was limited to a narrow band of land on the equator until 2007, when it crossed the Pacific Ocean and created an epidemic in 2015-2016.

Q: What are the symptoms of the Zika virus?
A: Symptoms may include fever, pain, fatigue, & chills

The illness caused by the Zika virus is called Zika fever. As is often the case, symptoms are mild to non-existent. Symptoms last for about a week and include fever, red eyes, joint pain, headache, and rash, and as of this writing there are no deaths caused by the virus. However, infection during pregnancy can cause microcephaly and other brain malformations during the development of the fetus that have lifelong consequences for the baby.

Q: What is a Zika baby?
A: A child who suffers from Congenital Zika Syndrome

This throwaway term refers to the birth defects caused by Zika fever during pregnancy. Learn more about Congenital Zika syndrome here.

Q: What are the treatment options for Zika virus?
A: Rest & Fluids

There are no vaccines or cures for Zika fever. Recovery is a matter of getting plenty of rest, pushing fluids, and treating the symptoms. Do not treat with medication before talking to your doctor. Reduce fever and pain with acetaminophen, do not take aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs until Dengue is ruled out.

Q: What areas are affected by the Zika virus?
A: Any area with day-active mosquitos on or near the equator, for now

This is the current distribution:

However, thanks to the effects of global warming, any area on the map below could become effected with the rise of a few degrees in temperature:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *