Notification Graphic

The Bothell clinic is closed due to water damage. All patients will be seen by their physicians at our Totem Lake clinic.

Mar 01

Paul Mayeda

What You Need to Know About Zika

by Paul Mayeda

What is the Zika Virus

The Zika virus has made the headlines and the World Health Organization has declared this a global health emergency.  Last year Brazil experienced a large outbreak that has since spread throughout much of South and Central America. There has been much made of this illness, but it is not new.  It was first discovered in Africa in 1947.  Since then there have been small outbreaks in many parts of the world, mostly in the tropics.

Transmission and Symptoms

The virus is spread by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. There is also evidence of sexual transmission of the virus.

Only 1 in 5 people infected with Zika will have any symptoms. The symptoms for most are actually quite mild, and include fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis. Many who are infected may have no symptoms at all.

Washington State and the Zika Virus

The mosquito (Aedes species) that carries the Zika virus does not live in the Northwest, so there is little or no chance of local transmission through mosquitoes.  However, people who travel to and from areas where Zika is spreading can return with Zika illness.  A traveler recently returned to Washington and tested positive for Zika virus. People who have returned from Zika-affected areas that are pregnant or having symptoms of Zika illness should contact their healthcare provider.

Pregnancy Risk

The biggest concern is what may happen when pregnant women become infected. Zika virus can be spread from a pregnant woman to her fetus.  It has been reported that babies whose mothers were infected with the Zika virus have a higher incidence of microcephaly, an unusual and severe neurologic birth defect.

Knowledge of the link between Zika and birth defects is evolving, but until more is known, CDC recommends special precautions for pregnant women.  Pregnant women in any trimester should consider postponing travel to any area where Zika virus is spreading.

If you must travel to one of these areas, talk to your healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during your trip.

Please visit these sites for additional information:

Basic Zika info:                       

Zika Symptoms:                     

Zika Transmission:               

Avoiding Bug Bites:             

Zika Travel info:                     


Related Posts

Related Services