mosquito-719613_640 copyAlthough there are no cases of Zika virus transmitted in Arizona, the recent reports of cases in Florida, and the knowledge that mosquitoes that can transmit Zika live in Arizona, means that we will likely see some transmission of Zika in Arizona at some point in the future.

That said, there is no reason for alarm.   Mosquitoes are less common in Arizona than back East and South, they still occur as many of us can attest, and it’s important to understand the basics of Zika infection so you can avoid unnecessary worry.  Here are the basics.

  1.  Zika virus has not been found in Arizona, but it can potentially be transmitted by the mosquitoes that live here.   It is possible.  Zika is transmitted by mosquitoes.
  2. Zika is a virus infection that is asymptomatic 80% of the time..meaning there is an infection but ZERO symptoms.  Only 20% of people infected with Zika will have any symptoms.
  3. SYMPTOMS of Zika include:  Low grade fever (101 degrees).   Sore joints in the hands and feet.  A patchy rash on the skin.
  4. Zika symptoms occur from 2-14 days after an infectious bite.  A person with Zika cannot give you the infection (unless you have unprotected sex with that person.)
  5. TREATMENT of Zika is supportive.  Rest, Liquids, Tylenol/Advil.  There is no cure for Zika
  6. Zika is NOT DEADLY.  There are no reported deaths from Zika.
  7. Zika can be associated with nervous system reactions, including Guillane-Barre Syndrome (a polio-like syndrome)….but this is quite uncommon.
  8. To PREVENT Zika, you prevent yourself from getting mosquito bites:  Long sleeves and pants, Mosquito Repellent (DEET or Picaridin)
  9. DIAGNOSIS of Zika is made through blood and urine testing.  We can do that in our office if you are ill and there is a potential concern of infection.

Pregnant women have a different list of concerns as there is the serious risk for the developing fetus.  That said, protective measures can be very effective in preventing infection.