What You Should Know About Zika
A traveler returning from the Caribbean unknowingly became the first person in the state of Ohio to carry the disease which has spawned international concern, notably due to an upcoming Summer Olympics to be held in Brazil. There has been a lot of talk about this disease, but Ohioans should be aware of how it may affect them, directly and indirectly. At Scioto Urgent Care in Columbus, we felt we should share some helpful information.
Zika is a virus that has been widely known for approximately 50 years, but it is unclear why we are now seeing these clinical symptoms. Zika infection, in most people, is a non-specific infection consisting of rash, low temperatures, and joint/muscle pain. Currently, the main concern for Zika is with pregnant patients, as it has become known that there is a definite causal link between Zika infection and microcephaly. Microcephaly is a condition where the head of a baby is smaller than normal. “Patients who are either pregnant or planning to become pregnant should take special precautions regarding Zika.”, advises Dr. Marc Pesa of Scioto Urgent Care on Sawmill Rd. in Columbus. “Early involvement of OB-GYN is essential for patients Zika positive and pregnant.”, he continues. There is also a suspected link between Zika and an uncommon neurological disorder called Guillan-Barre syndrome. In this syndrome, a patient’s own immune system begins attacking the peripheral nerves which induces weakness that can be life-threatening.
What are your chances of becoming infected with Zika? “It is almost always transmitted via a mosquito vector but recently has been shown to be transmitted sexually, perinatally and through blood transfusions.”, notes Dr. Marc Pesa of Scioto Urgent Care. The carrier mosquito is the Aedes Aegyptii and it is mostly found in tropical climates, and becomes increasingly uncommon the more temperate the climate. It can possibly be found in Columbus, but is not the predominant mosquito here. For a temperate climate such as ours, it’s perhaps more likely a person will be sick as a result of travel to tropical and sub-tropical zones, or sexual contact with an infected person in the area.
Now that you know what is Zika is, and how it is transferred, we want you to be able to protect yourself. The best way to avoid the virus outside is to avoid the bite. The mosquito breeds in standing water and feeds mostly at dusk and dawn. Wear long sleeves and DEET containing mosquito repellent. If you are traveling in a climate conducive to this mosquito, you must take these steps. A little prevention can avoid many complications down the road. If you are pregnant, avoid travel to known Zika hotspots, and if you are unable to avoid such travel, be vigilant and stick to our protocols. If you know someone who is infected or displaying symptoms, avoid sexual contact.
At Scioto Urgent Care, our goal is the health of patients and as proud residents of Columbus, the general health of our community. We hope this information will be helpful in putting this virus into context and helping with any fears about its spread based on news coverage. One of the best actions for viruses such as Zika is information and prevention. Armed with these tools, your health can be safeguarded.
About Scioto Urgent Care
Scioto Urgent Care is one of central Ohio’s leading urgent care facilities. Located on the Northwest side of Columbus (near Dublin & Upper Arlington) the urgent care center has been treating patients since early 2004. Scioto Urgent Care is a convenient health care alternative when your regular family physician is closed or you can’t get a timely appointment. The Northwest Columbus urgent care location is open everyday, including weekends and holidays. You do not need to be a regular Scioto Urgent Care health care patient to enjoy our convenience and medical care. No appointment is necessary. Just walk in and receive care when you need it most.
Marc Pesa, Scioto Urgent Care 4760 Sawmill Road Columbus, OH 43235
Phone: (614) 789-9464 Fax: (614) – 789-9575