From Stetson Health Service – Information on Zika Virus

Mosquito activity in Florida can be year round. It is important to always be mindful of the possibility of mosquito borne illnesses.  Mosquitoes can carry a variety of diseases, such as West Nile Virus, Malaria, Yellow Fever, and Zika Virus, which continues to make news headlines.

Zika Virus is primarily spread through mosquito bites and sexual contact with infected people.  Most of those infected with Zika Virus (80%) show no signs or symptoms. Others may experience mild symptoms, including fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis (red eyes). It is possible to be infected with Zika Virus and not even know it. Individuals with symptoms should seek medical attention.

Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant are at greatest risk from Zika due to the harm the virus may cause to an unborn baby.

The two primary ways to prevent the contraction and spread of Zika Virus are:

  1. Mosquito bite prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/prevention/index.html
  2. Safe sex practices: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/transmission/sexual-transmission.html

There is no vaccine or medicine to prevent Zika.  Treat the symptoms:

  • Get lots of rest and drink fluids.
  • Take acetaminophen to relieve fever and pain.  Do not take aspirin, products containing aspirin, or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen.
  • If you are taking medicine for other medical conditions, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication.

During the first week of infection, Zika virus can be found in the blood and passed from an infected person to another mosquito through mosquito bites. An infected mosquito can then spread the virus to other people. To help prevent others from getting sick, strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites. If you have recently traveled to regions affected by Zika Virus and you are experiencing symptoms or suspect exposure to Zika Virus, contact Stetson Health Service 386-822-8150 healthservices@stetson.edu

Stetson University will continue to monitor the Centers for Disease Control and medical authorities in the state to issue up-to-date information on Zika Virus to our community. Stay tuned for opportunities to engage in open dialogue on Zika Virus during Values Day, the Zika Virus Flash Panel this fall, and at other public health forums.

The Zika Virus Information Hotline for Florida residents and visitors: 855-622-6735.

Additional information can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html