Twelve Things You Need To Know About Zika Virus

Saturday Jan 30 | BY |
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The World Health Organization is very concerned about the explosive spread of Zika virus.

Because Zika is associated with neurological complications, including brain damage in infants, it’s important to understand Zika injection. It is still not clear if Zika infection during pregnancy can cause microcephaly—unusually small heads and damaged brains in newborns—but because of a surge of microcephaly in Brazil medical scientists are investigating a possible link to Zika.

Here are the top ten things you need to know about Zika, including prevention and treatment.
What Is Zika Virus? Zika is a tropical infection found in Africa and Asia. It was first discovered in the Western Hemisphere in May 2015 in Brazil. Because almost no one in the Western Hemisphere has been exposed to the virus that causes Zika, few people have immunity to Zika. Without immunity, the first infection may come on strong, and complications may be severe.

How Does It Spread?

Zika spreads by bites from Aedes species mosquitoes. These are the same type of mosquitoes that carry dengue, Chikungunya, and yellow fever viruses. Aedes aegypti is a very aggressive species that also spreads yellow fever and Zika. Zika can also be spread through blood transfusions, and may spread in semen during sex.

Where Is Zika Virus Found?

Zika virus has been studied in Africa since 1947 when it was first identified in Uganda. It spread from Africa to Asia about 50 years ago. In 2007, Zika jumped to the South Pacific islands. In 2013, a Zika outbreak in French Polynesia caused 42 cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a condition that can cause severe paralysis in victims. In May 2015, it was found in northeast Brazil. More than 20 countries have reported cases of Zika infection. The Pan-American Health Organization warns that Zika will soon spread to every country in North and South America, except Canada and Chile.

Will It Move To The United States?

Though it’s winter in the northern hemisphere, it’s summer in the southern. While record snowfall blankets Washington, D.C., Zia virus is spreading explosively in Brazil, Venezuela, and is traveling northward into Mexico and the Caribbean. As the weather warms, mosquitos move north. In the United States, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are found in Florida and other states along the Gulf of Mexico, and in Hawaii. Aedes albopictus, the Asian tiger mosquito, can also spread Zika. This species is more cold tolerant and ranges as far north as New York and the Great Lakes. Already, about 30 cases of Zika infection have been reported in 11 states and Washington, D.C. However, all of these cases were infected while traveling outside the U.S.

What Are The Symptoms Of Zika Infection?

Medical researchers once believed that most of the time, Zika infection is mild and causes no lasting harm. Is the new version more dangerous? No one knows. That’s why it’s important to learn about Zika. Symptoms are similar to mild dengue fever including fever, joint and muscle pain, along with skin rash and red eyes, headache, and you feel weak and tired. Mild infection does not require hospitalization.

Is it Very Contagious? How Easy Can I Get Infected?

Zika does not spread from person to person like the flu, so it is not contagious. But, Aedes mosquitos are aggressive, and if you get bitten, you can become infected.

How Long Does It Stay In Your System?

Zika infection lasts about a week. Complications are rare, but there is growing concern about neurological and autoimmune reactions. Zika is thought only to remain in your blood for several days or up to a few weeks, but it has been found longer in some people. There is no known chronic form of Zika virus.

Should I Get Tested For Zika?

There is no rapid way to detect Zika virus. Because it is related to dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever it can cross-react causing positive results for tests for those viruses. Your doctor can order a PCR test, but it can only detect new infection. Researchers are working on a rapid test for Zika, and finger prick tests you can do at home are coming soon. Since pregnant women are the most vulnerable to Zika, the C.D.C. recommends that all pregnant women who have recently traveled to countries where Zika is present should get tested. These recommendations are controversial at the moment. Check the C.D.C. website for current guidelines.

Is There A Vaccine For Zika?

There is no vaccine to prevent Zika infection.

What Is The Treatment For Zika?

There is no antiviral drug that cures Zika. For mild symptoms, treat it like a cold or flu with bed rest, plenty of fluids, and supportive care including acetaminophen for fever and joint pain.

How Can I Prevent Zika Infection?

Creating a barrier between mosquitoes is the best prevention. Avoid being outdoors during the peak mosquito feeding times or early morning and sundown. Wear protective clothing. Use rubber bands to close off openings at your wrists and ankles. Apply mosquito repellent. Keep screen doors closed. Sleep under a mosquito net. To prevent mosquitos breeding near your living space, empty objects that can contain standing water like flowerpots, fountains, and buckets.

Can Natural Medicines Help Treat Zika?

Natural medicines can be very effective for mild viral infections, including Zika. For home treatment of Zika infection follow the same rules for all viral illness. Manage fever and prevent dehydration by keeping up fluids and electrolytes. Take herbal anti-inflammatories like curcumin and cat’s claw. Use herbal antivirals like Echinacea tincture, or Isatis and Andrographis extracts. Try Chinese skullcap, Scutellaria. For the treatment of viruses, herbs are best taken in concentrated forms like tinctures or standardize extracts in capsules. Take vitamin C, zinc, and selenium to boost immunity.

Global health authorities aim to stay ahead of the curve of a Zika epidemic. Even though there is a lot of media coverage, health authorities are taking a proactive, not an alarmist approach. You should be concerned if you live in the Puerto Rico, Florida, and other Gulf Coast states, but not frightened.

If you travel to tropical regions of Mexico, Central American, the Caribbean, or South America take precautions to avoid mosquito bites. For the near future, pregnant woman and woman attempting pregnancy would be wise to avoid travel to places where Zika is common.

Since Zika is not spread directly from human to human, if you don’t get a bite from an Aedes mosquito, you won’t get sick. For more information visit the CDC and WHO sites.

Dr. J. E. Williams

J. E. WILLIAMS, OMD, FAAIM

Dr. Williams is a pioneer in integrative and functional medicine, the author of six books, and a practicing clinician with over 100,000 patient visits. His areas of interest include longevity and viral immunity. Formerly from San Diego, he now resides in Sarasota, Florida and practices at the Florida Integrative Medical Center. He teaches at NOVA Southeastern University and Emperor’s College of Oriental Medicine.

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13 COMMENTS ON THIS POST

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  1. June Hanson says:

    If you live in Mosquito country, need follow all precautions. Unless, they spray and monitor their growth. Dressing , preparing for outdoor activities. Carelessness, if bit by certain mosquitoes, can cause pain, side effects for long time. Those who have had Dengue, can testify to that

    We have not had epidemic outbreak of dengue, will not have it with Zika, if people will follow Dr Williams instructions.

    If not pregnant, take all precautions travel to countries, south of here, should still be enjoyable. Just use wisdom.

  2. Marcey says:

    It would seem to me that taking a high quality colloidal silver product would be effective for this virus, as it is proven to destroy all viruses it has come into contact with, according to several sources I have read.

  3. I travelled to Africa and Brazil regularly for 23 years including in the peak mosquito seasons. I never used medications as the side effects are nasty and long term bad effects lead to regular medication changes every so many years.

    Mozzies do not like the cold. Keep your bedroom door and windows closes at all times and the A/C on full cold. Use a blanket and nets and check before bed very carefully. Including inside the net – I found two outside and eight INSIDE the net waiting for me to provide my blood in bed last visit to Mombasa, Kenya. In the cold air these guys hide under tables and behind curtains so check carefully and be thorough then sleep peacefully.

    The suggestion above is in addition to all the good advice given in the article. There is no reason to be fearful if you are sensible about your behaviour which is pretty much the way we should travel anywhere any time. Worked for me over a 43 year travelling working life to as many as 30 different countries (with repeats) most years.

    You should not bring anything more than wonderful memories and photos home with you!! Enjoy your travels.

  4. vandenbemd says:

    I don’t wonder why the most obvious natural remedies such as colloidal silver and MMS are not included in the list of beneficial anti Zika agents. We had the same problem when Ebola which was being promoted by the the world sickness organisation. In that case the nano silver that was known to. be effective against it was being stopped by the Authorities because it would have exposed the deliberate attempt to cause an epidemic and the failure of the attempt to disseminate the virus. When the Zika virus proves to be another of the many attempts to at causing a pandemic I wonder what they will dream up next. Believe me, the WHO is not worried at all, they are the ones behind all these infective culling agents an agenda in accordance with their depopulation agenda. They aim to kill most of us if they can.

    • Rae says:

      There is help as their was with Ebola. Metallic Nano Silver at 10ppm helped! There is even a PR article from the information minister of Sierra Leon stating that fact. Let the people choose. No harm, no foul if it doesn’t work due to its proven safety. If there is a chance, for the love of god why not give folks a fighting chance!!

  5. Angela says:

    I’m very concerned about this outbreak, myself and my husband have a upcoming cruise to the Mexican ports. I was happy to read your article on Zika. I will take all precautions. What is causing this to happen?

  6. Judith Hogg says:

    My Question is:
    Zika has been known for some 70 years, without any of the so stated brain damage to newborns until the last 12-18 months, so what is the truth behind the sudden “new” manifestation of the hideous outcome of the Zika virus supposedly
    transmitted by mosquitoes

  7. Zika is a virus. High doses of vitamin C are anti viral and have been know to cure viral diseases such as the cold, flu, hepatitus, viral pneumonia and polio (yes polio, 36 cures out of 36 patients) . For evidence on this see Dr frederick Klenner’s guide to the use of vitamin C on http://www.seanet.com/ alexs/ascorbate/198x/smith-In-clinical_guide_1988.htm

    (between the com/ and the alexs is a symbol I dont have, but I am sure interested readers will find this)

    Note that HIGH DOSE means from 25 GRAMS to 300 GRAMS per day. I personally take 2 plus 2 plus 2 equals 6 grams a day regularily as lypo spheric vit C and some water soluable sodium ascorbate. See Thomas E Levy’s http://www.peakenergy.com and also http://www.LivOnLabs.com for extra. help.

    I am quite familiar, when visitng my intergrative dentist, at getting 25 grams vit C as IV, in my arm while and after dental surgery. (read a magazine and feel great afterwards.)

    Orthomolecular.com has a useful article called Vitamin C as an Antiviral. How much to take? There is no know clear answer – it depends on your age condition symptoms however if you are taking the best form, the lypo (fat soluable) it is 100% or close to 100% bioavaliable and if someone you are trying to help is unconcious then in the arm as IV or Intravenous vitamin C or sodium ascorbate is good. Those doctor who have used it persist until the symptoms abate. i.e. cures are symptom driven.

    Adcorbate has been shown to have specific antiviral effects in which it inactivates the RNA or DNA or the virus. It also enhances the production of interferon, stimulates the production of anti bodies, boosts mitachondrial energy production, enhances phagocyte function, and enhances the production the immune system – B cells, T cells, NK cells, and cytokine production. It allows the body to bring huge (80 times normal plasma levels) amount of vit C to the site of the infection.

    Vitamin C is cheap to produce, easy to administer, has 75 plus years of research and available. I New Zealand where I live, it is a legal drug and administered by many private medical clinics. It has NO KNOW TOXIC LEVELS. That is, take as much as you like, and the the side effects will be severe. HEALTH. (there is only one condition where it should not be taken and this is rare). and by the way its great for kidneys.

    For great, examples of these, try googling “THE ALLAN SMITH MIRACLE” . Swine flu, I beleive is a virus. This chap was just about to have his life support turned off – suffering swine flu, double whiteout pneumonia, and hairy cell leukemia (it all happened to him in a couple of weeks) – doctors refused to give vitamin C until strong arm muscled by the family and legal issues waived under their noeses. In short he recovered promptly and is now walking his farm,flying his plane, and sailing his yacht.

    Also, google, ANTON KURAIA, and look at My Story. It is an odd site with numbers.

    For an overall view, please see the very excellent video now our for only a few weeks,

    Because it is cheap to produce, the drug companies dont. Herein lies another topic of explosive and argumentative issues with medical people and money involved. Journalists, here is a field day for you.

    How likely is it that this al

    • http://www.thatvitaminmovie.com

      How likely is it that the world health organisations will use vitamin C in the pursuit of Zirka?

      Its up to us!!

      We can find this information and do nothing or read the information, be amazed and do something. For the sake of the those very sad mothers and their children born with this condition, it is my fervent hope that something good comes of my letter.

  8. sheree says:

    Hi Dr.Williams,
    Do you have any experiance treating a winter of 2015/16 flu type virus that seems to morph from bacteria to virus
    and then back to bacteria again? The symptoms all sound like Zika..severe upper back..neck and head pain..general achiness all over and extream tiredness..some with nausea too. Seeing lots of these this winter..but.. no mosquitos in LA yet. Could Zika be caused by something else? instead of mosquito bite? I am using HVS bacteria homeopathic, andrographis, chinese skullcap, Standard Process Thymex..and when the bacteria gets low enough to almost be gone..it morphs to virus..then using Energetix Viruchord..until switching back to bacteria once again..Is this some crazy bioengineered thing?? What is your advice on treatment? Are you seeing this in your practice?

    • Dr. WIlliams says:

      Hello Sheree: You make a good case for the very real possibility of complex infectious etiology. Even in an extremely small drop of blood, like from a mosquito, a host of infectious and non-infectious microbes are transmitted. These co-infections are often the cause of strange symptoms. Have you read my book, VIRAL IMMUNITY? It’s an excellent resource and you may find more information there.

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  10. Rhian says:

    My son is 1 and suffers with viral pneumonia . We are traveling to Mexico in April will he cope if he got infected with zika ?

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