• Get the Facts on the Zika Virus

    When visiting their local clinic, urgent care center , or family physician in Atlanta, many patients ask their doctor about the Zika virus. You may have heard about this disease through the media and find yourself wanting to know more about it. If so, then watch this video to get the facts on the Zika virus.

    The virus was first isolated from a captive Rhesus monkey in the Zika forest of Uganda back in 1947, and scientists recovered it from a mosquito in the same area a year later. The first cases of the Zika virus affecting humans occurred in 1952, and the first large outbreak of the disease, with a suspected 185 cases, occurred in 2007 on the Pacific island of Yap. The Zika virus spreads when an Aedes mosquito bites an infected individual and then moves on to bite another person.

  • Questions to Ask Your Doctor About the Zika Virus

    If you intend on traveling outside the U.S., it’s always a good idea to seek travel medicine services in Atlanta well before you depart. Travel medicine includes patient counseling on healthcare concerns that are specific to the destination. Since Zika virus has been a major concern in recent months, you may wish to go to the clinic prepared with a list of questions about this virus.

    Is Zika a concern in the area where I intend to travel?

    Zika Health Concern Zika, which is primarily transmitted via mosquito bite, was previously a problem only in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Since 2015; however, Zika has been found in Brazil, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa. More recently, Zika has been reported in Mexico, Belize, Peru, and many other areas. Since the situation is subject to change and because this is not a complete list of areas affected by Zika, it’s best to consult a travel medicine doctor for the latest information.

    What are the symptoms?

    If you do decide to travel to an area affected by Zika, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the symptoms and to seek care at a clinic if you notice any of them. The symptoms are usually mild and tend to last for several days to a week. They typically include joint pain, fever, rash, and conjunctivitis. Sometimes, the symptoms are so mild that not all patients realize they’ve been infected.

    Why is Zika a concern for women in particular?

    Despite the mild symptoms, Zika is a major public health problem because of the potential risk to unborn babies. Medical evidence demonstrates that a pregnant woman can pass Zika onto her unborn child. There is still much that scientists don’t know about the way in which Zika affects developing fetuses. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a report that confirmed that there is conclusive evidence that Zika causes microencephaly and other serious birth defects. Microencephaly is a severe brain defect. Other birth defects can affect an infant’s eyes, hearing, and growth.

    How can I protect myself?

    Doctors are generally recommending that pregnant women avoid traveling to areas where Zika has been confirmed. Precautions should also be exercised when the partner or spouse of a pregnant woman travels to these areas since sexual transmission is possible.

  • Should You Change Your Summer Vacation Because of Zika?

    People who have planned summer trips to the Caribbean and South America have a new worry besides trying to decide what to pack: Zika. Zika is a virus that is spread by mosquito bites and by sexual contact, and it has run rampant in the Caribbean and in South and Central America. Should the Zika outbreak give you pause about your summer trip? Visit a travel clinic near Atlanta for advice specific to your personal health history. Here is a closer look at how Zika could affect your summer vacation.

    Healthy Adults

    Zika Virus Healthy adults who are not pregnant should be safe when traveling to areas where Zika is present. Most people who contract the Zika virus do not experience any symptoms and are completely unaware they have it. In other instances, Zika may cause mild flu-like symptoms. Doctors suspect that, in rare cases, Zika may be linked with Guillain-Barre syndrome, but the relationship is not proven. The risks are low enough for healthy adults, however, that taking common sense steps to avoid mosquito bites can be enough to keep you safe from Zika. Before your trip, visit a travel clinic and talk about your risk factors and mosquito protection options. Ensure the room in which you will sleep has air conditioning, wear pants and long-sleeve shirts, and use a mosquito-repellant that is EPA approved to reduce your chances of getting a bite.

    Pregnant Women, Children, and Immunosuppressed Adults

    These groups should check with their travel clinic before traveling. Because Zika is linked with a serious birth defect called microcephaly, pregnant women may be advised to postpone their travel. Children under two and adults with suppressed immune systems may also be more likely to experience complications from being exposed to Zika, so doctors may recommend that these group avoid travel as well. Women who are planning to become pregnant should also talk to the doctors at their walk-in travel clinic. It may be advisable to avoid becoming pregnant during the vacation and to wait for at least two weeks after your return out of an abundance of caution.

  • What Travelers Need to Know About the Zika Virus

    Zika virus is a mosquito-borne infection that can be extremely dangerous for pregnant women. It has recently become a travel medicine concern because of a dramatic increase in cases in the Americas. Visit a travel clinic in Atlanta if you are planning a trip to a place with a Zika outbreak, and watch this video for more information.

    For most people, Zika does not cause any symptoms. It is believed that previous Zika outbreaks likely went unnoticed by doctors because people did not visit their doctors. It is now known that Zika can cause microcephaly. If you are pregnant, your travel medicine clinic doctor may recommend that you avoid traveling to places with Zika outbreaks. A clinic doctor can also inform you about travel advisories linked to Zika.