The Zika virus, a flavivirus that is related to dengue fever, West Nile, yellow fever, and encephalitis, is the cause of zika virus disease and infects individuals mostly by the bite of a mosquito carrying the virus.
How is the Zika virus spread?
No mosquito-related outbreaks have occurred in or are likely to occur in Canada. The Zika virus is mainly spread by two types of mosquitos (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus) that live in tropical and sub-tropical regions, including Africa, Asia and the Pacific, South and Central America, the Caribbean, and the southern United States. When an infected mosquito bites a person, the virus is injected into the blood stream along with the mosquito's
Who is in danger?
All travelers to areas where the Zika virus is currently spreading; sexual partners of infected people; pregnant women who contract the virus and can pass it on to their unborn child; patients receiving blood, cells, tissue, sperm, or organs from infected donors; and workers who come into contact with the blood or other body fluids of Zika-infected patients (for example healthcare and laboratory workers).
What symptoms and indicators are associated with Zika infection?
Only 1 in 4 people with a Zika virus infection show symptoms, and those who do may experience the following: skin rash, red eyes (conjunctivitis, pink eye), mild fever, weakness, headaches, nausea, and vomiting, as well as sore joints and muscles.Zika symptoms may appear 3 to 14 days after infection, and if they do, they are typically mild and may last 2 to 7 days.The Zika virus can reactivate in some people (nervous system disorder that causes muscle weakness and possibly paralysis).
How can I tell whether I'm infected with the Zika virus?
Pregnant travelers returning from Zika outbreak countries should share concerns with their health care practitioner. Your health care provider can assess if you should be tested for Zika virus infection based on your symptoms, places and dates of travel, and activities.
Can infections with the Zika virus be treated?
Treatment for the Zika virus infection is currently limited to relieving symptoms, which may include resting, consuming lots of fluids, and taking medications to lower fever and pain. Do not take acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) until a potential infection with Dengue virus has been ruled out, as Dengue is also frequently found in mosquitoes in Zika outbreak areas.
How can one avoid contracting the Zika virus?
Consult the Government of Canada's 'Travel Advice and Advisories' website to determine if your destination has a risk of Zika virus disease, and visit a travel health clinic at least 6 weeks before you travel.Employers who require workers to travel to Zika-outbreak areas should make sure that the workers are aware of the risk of Zika virus disease and how to prevent mosquito bites. The mosquitoes that carry the virus are known to spread the disease.
Where can I find further details?
Zika Virus - Health Canada Zika Virus - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States Zika Virus - World Health Organization"""