May 18, 2018 by John Fernandez and Tanya Racoobian
Zika Virus 2017: What You Need to Know (Video)
With South Florida’s rainy season and summer on the horizon, Baptist Health South Florida brought together some of the region’s leading experts in a forum to provide the latest information about the Zika virus.
Zika is spread mostly by mosquitoes and is of greatest concern to pregnant mothers or those thinking of becoming pregnant. The virus is associated with severe birth defects including microcephaly, a condition where babies are born with smaller brains that might not have developed properly.
Data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that about 1 in 10 pregnant women with confirmed Zika had a fetus or baby with birth defects. Women who are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant should be especially vigilant to protect themselves against mosquito bites. The most important steps are eliminating standing water (where mosquitoes breed) and wearing the proper clothing and insect repellent to prevent bites.
(Experts offer the latest information about the Zika virus in a forum at West Kendall Baptist Hospital. Video by Alcyene De Almeida Rodrigues)
Statistics show that about 1 in 5 persons infected with the Zika virus will become symptomatic. Signs and symptoms of Zika may include: acute onset of low-grade fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis (reddening of eye), body aches, headache, eye pain, and vomiting. Currently, there is no specific treatment against the virus.
Last year, the Florida Department of Health established Zika zones in areas of Wynwood, North Miami Beach, Little River and South Miami Beach. Since December, there have been no areas of ongoing, active transmission of Zika by mosquitoes.
The Baptist Health South Florida News Team is committed to keeping you informed about the Zika virus. Check back often for updates.