Zika Virus is now in the United States

The Zika Virus has been in the news lately.  It is prevalent in South American and Mexico.  Some cases of Zika have been reported in Florida.  The Zika virus is a mosquito transmitted virus that usually causes mild symptoms in adults, but can cause possible birth defects when infecting pregnant women.  The birth defect seems to be brain damage and resultant microcephaly (small head).  There have been NO reported cases of Zika Virus originating in Louisiana at present except for (not confirmed) a couple that returned from travel in a Zika Virus endemic area.


Facts per CDC:

1.  Most commonly transmitted by mosquito bite, but, also, by sexual contact with an infected person.

2.  Symptoms are present in about 20% of those infected, causing muscle/joint aches, fever, rash, conjunctivitis (red eyes) and headache.

3.  Birth defects in your baby are possible if infected during pregnancy.

4.  Once infected, the individual stays contagious about a week, but may be longer.


There is no specific treatment for Zika Virus.  You treat the symptoms.  Again, 80% of those infected have no symptoms and others symptoms tend to be mild.  

To prevent infection, prevent mosquito bites as much as possible.  Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.  In your yard, eliminate areas that hold water, i. e. buckets, holes in yard, bird baths, trash containers, etc..  Check your gutters for blockages.

You may use insect repellant that contains <30% DEET (Cutter All Family Wipes, OFF Family) or Picardin (Avon Skin So Soft Towelettes) if your child is over 2 months old.

If you suspect Zika Virus and are concerned, your doctor may order a blood test to confirm whether you have this infection.  Unless you are pregnant, this is rarely necessary.  If you have any questions, call Dr. Elofson, Fakouri, Perilloux or Cook at 225-928-0867.