Healthy Active Living with St. Joseph Healthcare

Zika may come to Maine but there is no cause for panic

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The Wider Image: Zika: Single mothers

Ianka Mikaelle Barbosa, 18, poses for a photograph with Sophia, 18 days old, who is her second child and was born with microcephaly, at her house in Campina Grande, Brazil February 17, 2016.  REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

Dr. Michael Coyne, wound care specialist in the St. Joe’s Skin & Wound Healing Center and infectious disease specialist here at St. Joe’s wrote an article on the Zika virus for the BDN.

Dr. Coyne writes …

The Zika virus is the latest scourge to capture the public’s attention, Ebola now a vague memory.

Is this new contagion something to fear? As is often the case in infectious disease, the answer is both yes and no. It was not long ago (1793) that a similar virus (yellow fever) wiped out 10 percent of the population of Philadelphia, and most of the survivors fled the city. Zika is also a Flavivirus that is transmitted by mosquitoes, but it’s much less virulent.

Zika, named after Zika Forest Uganda where it was discovered, frequently causes no symptoms whatsoever. The threat was so underwhelming that nobody bothered much to study the virus, discovered in 1947, until recently.

If you were to catch Zika, there is a good chance you would never know. Symptoms, if any, would appear several days after a bite from an infected mosquito and possibly result in a rash, fever, muscle or joint aches, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The symptoms would likely all be gone in a week, and you probably wouldn’t have missed a day of work.

Click here to read the entire article, Thank you Dr. Coyne.


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