A 44 year old Female patient presents with complaints of diffuse rash, fever, headaches, fatigue, and conjunctivitis since traveling from Mexico 3 days prior. She also states that her husband has a similar rash and symptoms. On physical exam the patient has a flat pink/red rash covering her entire body while sparing her face. The patient’s eyes were noted to be bloodshot in appearance. Physical exam is otherwise unremarkable.
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Bloodwork for Zika virus was performed and found to be positive. Patient was counseled on wearing bug spray when outdoors due to risk of passing Zika through further mosquito bites. On
follow-up phone call 5 days from initial presentation to the office, the patient was clear of her rash and all symptoms had resolved. The local health department was notified for proper reporting. Local mosquito control was contacted and they visited the patient’s neighborhood for additional spraying.
Zika virus is transmitted through mosquitos. Once a person is infected with the virus they can pass the virus through sexual contact. Of most concern is when a pregnant woman contracts Zika because it can pass to her unborn child and cause a birth defect known as microcephaly.
Symptoms are mild for most people infected with the Zika virus, and can include: fever, rash, joint, pain, bloodshot eyes, muscle pain, and headache. uncommon side effect that has been Treatment of the virus is symptomatic.
To date, there is no vaccine or medication to help prevent or cure the Zika virus. Prevention is most important by wearing mosquito repellant and avoiding areas with standing water where mosquitos like to lay their eggs. The virus can be found in the blood during the first week a person is infected and it is just as important to avoid being bit by mosquitos during this period. An infected person can pass the virus to a mosquito through a bite, and that infected mosquito can then in turn infect other people.