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roger asked...

Could you tell me what are the symptoms of Zika virus?

Could you tell me what are the symptoms of Zika virus?

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The answer

Thank you for writing to us at Ask the Expert.

Zika Virus is an infection that is usually a blood borne infection that is transmitted by mosquitoes, when they bite you but, can also be passed on through sexual intercourse and oral sex.

The symptoms of Zika Virus are similar to flu.

Symptoms can include:

  • Rashes
  • Generalised itching of the body
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Pain behind the eyes and conjunctivitis

The incubation period for the infection is thought to be 2-3 days and the symptoms can last for up to a week.

Diagnosis of the virus is usually by means of testing your blood, saliva or genital fluid products.

Treatment usually involves keeping hydrated and taking analgesia and anti-histamines to alleviate symptoms.

Prevention of acquiring the Zika Virus is usually by means of using DEET and taking precautions of covering your skin and using mosquito protection nets and ointments.

If you are planning to have children it is advisable to avoid unprotected intercourse for the whole time you are visiting affected areas and for up to 3 months post returning to your home country to reduce the risk of transmission of the Zika Virus.

If you have contracted the virus it is recommended that trying for a baby is avoided for six months to ensure the virus will not be transmitted and that your partner takes folic acid for the month prior to conception to help eliminate possible spinal defects.

For further information regarding Zika Virus you may well find the following sites useful:

www.nhs.uk/conditions/zika-virus

www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/zika

www.travelhealthpro.org.uk

We hope this information has helped you with your enquiry.

Kind Regards,

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses