Home > What you should know? > What is Zika Virus?
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) Zika virus disease (Zika) is a disease caused by the Zika virus, which is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected
Aedes species mosquito. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy is linked to a serious birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects.

Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.
Zika virus can be spread during sex by a man infected with Zika to his sex partners. Therefore, it is strongly urged to use condoms with partners to protect from transmission.

There is no vaccine available therefore proper precaution measures should be taken at all times.

On January 22, 2016, CDC activated its Incident Management System and, working through the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), centralized its response to the outbreaks of Zika occurring in the Americas and increased reports of birth defects and Guillain-Barré syndrome in areas affected by Zika. On February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) because of clusters of microcephaly and other neurological disorders in some areas affected by Zika. On February 8, 2016, CDC elevated its response efforts to a Level 1 activation, the highest response level at the agency.

The CDC is working with international public health partners and with state and local health departments to:

  • Alert healthcare providers and the public about Zika.
  • Post travel notices and other travel-related guidance.
  • Provide state health laboratories with diagnostic tests.
  • Monitor and report cases of Zika, which will helps improve our understanding of how and where Zika is spreading.
The CDC has recently developed informative resources and tools for developing ZIKA Prevention Kits. available for domestic use and included are:

  • Permethrin to treat clothes
  • EPA-Registered Insect Repellent for skin
  • Standing Water Treatments - Mosquito Dunks to place in standing water to kill mosquito larvae
  • Bed Nets - Nets are available on this site in treated or untreated options. Treated nets are Permethrin treated (impregnated material that has the ability to repel and kill mosquitoes on contact) They are safe to use and provide greater protection.
  • Condoms
The most common symptoms are: fever, rash, joint pain or red eyes (conjunctivitis)muscle pain and headache.

Most people inflicted with Zika virus will only experience very mild symptoms or no symptoms of Zika virus at all.
As a result, it can be difficult to detect Zika virus.

The challenge with symptoms of Zika virus is that they can be very similar to other diseases. Dengue Fever and Chikungunya have similar symptoms. Lyme disease which is transmitted by ticks can also mimic similar symptoms. People experience very different symptoms from each other and not every symptom will always be present.

The best way to have an accurate Zika virus diagnosis is through a urine or blood test. This can best determine if positive for Zika virus. Contact a medical professional as soon as you experience any symptoms or have concerns that you may have contracted Zika virus.

Miami Florida's Broward County has been the most impacted in the U.S. with mosquitoes testing positive for the Zika virus. The Southern most states

However, travelers around the world can become infected during their trips to other countries. As a result, with symptoms virtually undetectable for some time, they can pass on Zika virus to their sexual partners without realizing it.

Traveler's Supply offers a Zika Protection Kit designed for people traveling by pairing together the necessary repellents for skin and clothing. We also offer a Zika Prevention Kit for people who live in areas where there is a risk of mosquitoes carrying Zika Virus.

Zika awareness is high and with storms, including most recent Hurricane Matthew affecting the southern part of the US, this will most likely cause a higher level of concern due to more areas with standing water. Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes as they lay larvae which grow into mosquitoes, multiplying the population.

Preparedness and protection are paramount.