zika-watchAs the Zika virus continues to spread throughout the Americas, patients with the virus are showing up throughout the continental U.S. Two Illinois residents and an Arkansas resident are among the latest to test positive for the virus.

Yesterday, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention added another two destinations to the Zika virus travel alerts: The United States Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic.

With the spread of the virus unlikely to slow down soon, The CDC has provided a guide for all the latest Zika virus updates and for health care providers to properly identify and treat the it.


What are the symptoms? Only 1 in 5 infected with Zika virus show symptoms. These include: acute onset of fever with maculopapular rash, arthralgia or conjunctivitis. Other symptoms include myalgia and headache. Symptoms are usually mild lasting only several days and up to a week.

Are there tests? Right now, there are no commercially available tests, Zika virus testing is performed at the CC Arbovirus Diagnostic Lab and state health departments. Learn about other methods for diagnosing the Zika virus on the CDC Q and A’s for Obstetrical Healthcare Providers guide.

Complications from Zika. Cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome has been reported in patients following suspected Zika infection.

The CDC says local Zika virus transmission has been reported to the Pan American Health Organization from 20 countries or territories in the Region of the Americas, with spread to other countries in the region likely.

The first U.S. case was tied to a baby born in an Oahu, Hawaii, hospital on Jan. 15 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Zika Virus Timeline:

• In 2007, the first documented outbreak of Zika virus disease was reported in Yap State, Federated States of Micronesia. An estimated 73 percent of the population under three years old is said to have been infected.

• Outbreaks then occurred in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific. And in May 2015, the World Health Organization reported the first local transmission of Zika in the Region of the Americas.

• In December, the Ministry of Health estimated 440 thousand to 1.3 million suspected cases of Zika virus disease occurred in Brazil in 2015.

The Zika virus is transmitted through mosquito bites, but most people who are infected show no symptoms. However, symptoms are typically mild and include fever or rash. During the current outbreak in Brazil, the virus has been identified in tissues from several infants with microcephaly and fetal losses in women who were infected during pregnancy. Pregnant women should consider postponing travel to areas reportedly experiencing Zika transmission. El Salvador health officials have advised women holding off pregnancy until 2018 because of the birth defects linked to Zika.