Experts continue to learn more about Zika. Check out these facts and resources to use for staying current on Zika developments.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Zika is a disease caused by Zika virus. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects.
In addition, a condition called Guillain-Barré syndrome, a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks part of the nervous system, can be triggered in a small proportion of people infected with Zika. Also, recently, a potential link between Zika and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM), a condition that can result in an MS-like syndrome for up to six months, has also been described.
It’s important to understand that Zika can affect anyone, not only pregnant women.
Because additional potential Zika transmission modes are being investigated, you should check the CDC Zika site for updates.
Although Zika is transmitted through infected mosquitos, it can also be spread through sexual contact. Much is still being learned about Zika, and other potential modes of transmission are being investigated. Learn more on the CDC Zika Transmission & Risks page.
Until information about Zika transmission is fully known, it is good practice to be vigilant about common hygiene, such as hand washing and using gloves when handling or being exposed to bodily fluids.
If you have questions or suspect you have Zika, talk to your doctor.
Zika is not just a risk where mosquitos thrive. Rather, because Zika can be transmitted through sexual contact, it can be spread to any geographic area. Stay on top of information about areas with Zika, including a map of cases reported in the United States. If the Zika virus is in your area, check out what the CDC suggests you do.
The CDC offers the below guidance on preventing the transmission of Zika:
For a full list of ways to prevent contacting the virus, visit the CDC’s Zika Prevention page.
The CDC recommends Zika virus testing for people who may have been exposed to Zika through sex and who have Zika symptoms. Learn more on the CDC’s Testing for Zika page. For questions, talk to your doctor.
The CDC suggests that pregnant women and partners of pregnant women who are worried about potential exposure to Zika should consider postponing nonessential travel to exposed areas.
How long should you wait before trying to have a baby? The CDC recommends:
Possible exposure from recent travel or sex without a condom with a man:
People living in areas with Zika:
Recent CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden has reported that the Zika virus is expected to be endemic in the United States, meaning that it will be ongoing for a long time. Humana recognizes that Zika is a concern for its members and is working actively to stay aware of its progression and take appropriate measures to help members.
NOTE: This material is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as medical advice or used in place of consulting a licensed professional. You should consult with an applicable licensed professional to determine what is right for you.
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