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Watch Out for Zika Virus this February Vacation

mosquitoes are a vector for zika virusOne reason why many of us embark on tropical vacation getaways during the dead of winter is to escape the hazards and perils of the year’s most frigid season. Unfortunately, the Zika virus, which has recently spread as far north as the Caribbean, may make our winter travels a bit perilous this year. The Zika virus is transmitted predominantly via mosquitoes, which are initially infected after biting infected people. While only one-in-five people will ever experience Zika virus symptoms, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) still issued a Level 2 alert to travelers visiting countries with reported cases.

Some of these countries with Zika virus outbreaks include:

  • Brazil
  • Jamaica
  • Honduras
  • Curucao
  • Puerto Rico
  • Costa Rica
  • Haiti
  • Mexico
  • Saint Martin
  • U.S. Virgin Islands

With February vacation just around the corner, many Massachusetts residents will be putting themselves at risk this month to contracting the virus with their travel plans. Although Zika virus has relatively mild symptoms, there have been reported cases of newborn children developing serious birth defects due to their mothers’ having Zika virus. In response, the CDC highly recommends that pregnant women – or women trying to get pregnant – postpone all travel plans to countries in Asia, Africa, South America and the Caribbean.

At AFC Urgent Care Watertown, we can diagnose Zika virus and prescribe any necessary medication to treat Zika virus’ symptoms. Its symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Muscle Pain
  • Joint Pain
  • Hive-like Rash
  • Malaise

Zika virus has no cure or vaccine yet, but the majority of its symptoms will clear out within a few weeks. While the virus has been known about since the 1940’s, there’s still little information we know about it.

To take advantage of our services, visit us at AFC Urgent Care Watertown any day of the week during business hours – no appointment necessary! To speak with one of our medical professionals, call us at 617.923.2273.

You can also visit us for travel vaccinations and medication to better prepare your body against foreign bacteria. We look forward to making your February vacation as stress-free as possible!