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ZIKA VIRUS

  • The Zika virus has been in the news
    lately as it spreads through South and Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico,
    being declared a public
    health emergency by the World Health
    Organization.
  • The mosquitoes that transmit the
    virus are not established in Colorado, so transmission here is unlikely.
  • Only about one in five persons
    with an infection will show symptoms, usually relatively mild, including:
    • Fever, rash, joint pain,
      conjunctivitis (red eyes).
    • Muscle pain and headache.
  • Many pregnant women who have been
    infected have had babies born with microcephaly (incomplete development of the
    head and brain).
  • Guillan Barre Syndrome, a
    debilitating nerve affliction, may also be associated with Zika infections.
  • There is no vaccine to prevent
    infections, and no treatment other than support, rest and fluids.
  • Travelers to countries where Zika
    has been locally transmitted should take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    (CDC) has advised pregnant women to reconsider travel plans to countries where
    Zika virus transmission has been identified as the risks to fetuses may be
    severe.
  • If
    you travel to affected countries and experience symptoms upon return, see your
    healthcare provider. Avoid taking aspirin, ibuprophen, or other
    non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs until Dengue infection is ruled out.
  • Pregnant
    women who experience symptoms upon return should be tested.
  • A
    new concern is that the infection may be passed through sexual intercourse.
  • Mesa
    County Health Department’s travel clinic is reaching out to local travel
    agencies and travelers to provide health tips and vaccination recommendations.
  • Mesa
    County Health Department is continually monitoring guidance from the Colorado
    Department of Public Health and Environment and the CDC regarding Zika virus ,and
    keeping local health care providers informed of developments.