Our pediatrician in Oklahoma City is getting a lot of questions about the Zika virus. The Zika virus has been in the news a lot recently due to the fact that it is quickly spreading through the Americas and there appears to be a link in the increased number of cases of Zika and microencephaly. Microencephaly is a condition where children are born with unusually small heads and often have underdeveloped brains, which can result in major issues as they get older. While the link between Zika and microencephaly hasn’t been 100% proven, it does seem very likely.
So do you need to worry about Zika? If you aren’t pregnant, probably not. Most people (4 out of 5) who get Zika don’t experience any symptoms and their body takes care of the disease on its own. Occasionally, people who exhibit symptoms may get pink eye, experience muscle pains, and have a fever or rash. These symptoms last no longer than a week normally. If you are pregnant, you don’t need to worry about Zika unless you’ve recently traveled through a South American country where cases have been reported.
The best way to protect yourself from Zika is to prevent mosquito bites. The Aedes mosquito are responsible for spreading the disease. To prevent bites, you can:
Use bug spray before going out
Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs
Stay away from stagnant water where mosquitos breed
Currently, there isn’t much reason to worry about the disease in North America. If you are concerned about Zika, you can call our pediatrician in Oklahoma City for more information at 405-212-4379 and we’ll help you get the answers you need to put your mind at ease.