If you have been planning to go on holiday to a tropical place such as Puerto Rico, Ecuador or even Jamaica for the sun and sea, then you might want to rethink those plans. This is because these places are among the high risk areas of the zika virus. Currently, this disease has no cure or vaccine and so the risk of being infected is very high. A reputable travel agent should be able to get you a refund or enable you to change your holiday destination.
Here are the points to note:
Alleviate your fear
Changing your travel destinations is one of the ways of reducing your chances of getting infected. It is a small sacrifice to pay when you consider what could happen if you get infected. The virus is spread through infected mosquitos that bite mostly during the day. After a person is infected, they become contagious and can pass it on to others through sexual transmission. This puts couples at an even greater risk of infection.
Why the news gets worse if you’re pregnant
Zikaigmelisa has been shown to cause birth defects in fetuses of infected pregnant women. If your wife or partner is expectant or plans to conceive, then they are advised against traveling to high risk areas. They are also advised to ensure they are well protected by avoiding mosquito prone areas, wearing protective wear if they must be in those high risk areas. This protective wear can be face masks, long sleeved clothing that covers them up and using mosquito repellents. These precautionary measures do not guarantee lack of infection, but they do give you a fighting chance.
So, how would you know if you’re infected?
Well, the sad news is that the symptoms of this virus are not severe enough to detect quickly. They include fever, joint and muscle pain, skin rashes and red eyes in some patients. As you can tell, these symptoms could mean a whole number of things and may not obviously point to it being a zika virus infection. This is what is frustrating about this virus. However, cases of infected people show that once they get it, they become immune to it and so you do not need to fear the risk of a second infection. Getting the virus the first time makes you immune to it. This is good news because it means that scientists can study these patients and use that information to come up with an effective vaccine or cure.
Although our government encourages us to go on with life as usual, it is important to understand that this virus is out there and it is making people sick. It is heartbreaking to watch how the disease affects newborn babies whose mothers are infected with the virus. If you have travelled to these high risk areas, it is advisable to first get tested for the virus before being intimate with your partner or spouse and especially before thinking about conceiving.