Is Zika The New Ebola?

Headline after headline, today’s media is filled with Zika, Zika, Zika. People are treating it similarly to Ebola; however, the healthcare community is being more proactive this time. While the Zika virus poses a big risk to developing fetuses, it’s little more than a mild irritation to everyone else.

Here are the facts:

  • Zika has been linked to the birth defect microcephaly, making it a threat to pregnant women.
    • Microcephaly occurs when a person has a brain or head size so small that it prevents proper development.
  • Typically spread through mosquitoes, but can be spread by people – and is sexually transmittable.
  • The symptoms are mild.
    • 80 percent of those infected have no symptoms.
    • If symptoms occur, they are usually a fever and a rash.
    • Other symptoms can be muscle & joint pain, pain behind eyes, headaches and conjunctivitis (pink-eye).
    • Usually lasts two to seven days.
    • Over-the-counter medicine can help relieve some of the symptoms.

A new disease spreading rampant around the world is terrifying, but this disease is essentially harmless to most. If you are pregnant and concerned about contracting the virus, make sure you are wearing a lot of insect repellant. If you’re pregnant, believe you’re at risk and sexually active, make sure your partner is also wearing insect repellent to ensure the pregnancy will go without any additional complications.

Zika isn’t the new Ebola, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be safe if you could be putting someone else at risk.