Zika Virus | A Spring Break Buzz Kill
"Travel to Zika-affected areas is very common among Americans, and we don’t think that needs to stop. We do think it’s important for people who are pregnant or maybe pregnant to be aware of the risks, and for their sexual partners to be aware of the risk as well. So we’re not canceling spring break. We’re telling people who are pregnant you may not want to go." CDC spokesperson Dr. Schuchat at the February 8, 2016 White House Press Briefing
The Center for Diease Control has issued a Level 2 Travel Alert and has created a comprehensive“Resource Site” with information about to avoid being infected with the Zika Virus and what to do if are.
Video | WSJ - What Is the Zika Virus?
The Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. According to the CDC, only about 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus become ill (i.e., develop Zika). The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes).
If you are infected, the illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.
Until more is known, and out of an abundance of caution, CDC recommends special precautions for pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant:
Women trying to become pregnant who are thinking about becoming pregnant should consult with their healthcare provider before traveling to these areas and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the trip.This Cosmo Article is a good read.
Pregnant women in any trimester should consider postponing travel to the areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.
In addition to infection by mosquito bites, there is growing evidence that suggests Zika is gaining access to other fluids, including semen, and can be transmitted from human-to-human via sexual intercourse. After infection, the virus only remains in the blood for a 5-7 day window, how long the virus can stay active in semen is currently unknown, but extimated to be six weeks.