BATON ROUGE, LA – It is transferred by mosquitoes, and we have a lot of those little guys right here in our state.
“There are other ways that it is transmitted, that we’re learning about, but it’s something that we’ve picked up, and it’s found in several parts of the world,” said Dr. Patricia Whatley, an internist at the Baton Rouge Clinic. “Zika is a virus, that’s transmitted by mosquitoes, primarily. It’s related to Dengue, Yellow Fever, West Nile Virus.”
This week there was one new travel-related case of the virus in Louisiana, and eight people in our state have contracted the virus, according to the Department of Health.
“Zika symptoms are usually none. About 20% of people only show symptoms, that includes rash, pain in the small joints, in the feet, in the hands, low-grade fever, sometimes headaches behind the eyes as well, and also pink eye,” said Dr. Whatley.
Who is more susceptible to getting it?
“This virus is transmittable to pretty much everyone. It’s going to be found in people who do not live in air-conditioned environments. If they’re outdoors a lot because it is a mosquito-borne illness. It is a daytime biter, which is important,” explained Dr. Whatley.
Dr. Whatley said a big concern is pregnant women.
“If a pregnant woman gets the virus, we think, probably, a lot of them do not get affected,” said Dr. Whatley. “Nothing may happen or the baby may get affected, so it’s important to be followed by an obstetrician and follow up from that stand point.”
Just like trying to prevent any mosquitoes bites, you have to make sure you take precautions.
“What you do is mosquito control. That is going to be the factor of what carries the virus. So that means making sure there is no water that’s standing, flower pots, inflatable pools, those sort of things need to be taken care of,” said Dr. Whatley. “Make sure there’s good screening on the window screens, mosquito repellant, Deet 30% is what I usually recommend, and wearing long sleeves and pants for those mosquitoes,” concluded Dr. Whatley. “The species of the mosquitoes that carry Zika potentially there are some here in Louisiana, so that’s why it’s important.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are 14 reported cases of Zika being transmitted through sexual contact.
For more information about the virus, just head to the link below: