Should we fear Zika?


PC: Tyler Atkinson

Is Zika breeding in Michigan?

Tyler Atkinson, Copy Editor

Zika, the virus that gained notoriety before the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, has been becoming more prevalent in America. The cases confirmed have risen to over 2000. “Michigan’s tally of Zika cases grew to 43,” as stated on All of Michigan’s cases have been sourced back to travelers who traveled to the southern part of the Americas. Zika is spread primarily by mosquitoes that carry the virus and then pass it on to the human that they bite. Mosquitoes that carry Zika are not found in Michigan.

There is no vaccine for Zika, so travelers need to protect themselves other ways. One way that you can protect yourself is to constantly use insect repellent. Another way is to use a bed net that repels and keeps mosquitoes out while you are sleeping. It is also important for women that are trying to get pregnant or who are pregnant to be very vigilant about protecting themselves. The Zika virus may only bring on mild symptoms but it can damage a fetus very quickly.
Symptoms of Zika include: pain behind eyes, joints, or muscles. Other symptoms are fatigue, fever, chills, loss of appetite, sweating, eye redness, headache, skin rash, and vomiting. As of now there is no current medication for Zika virus, but there is medicine to deal with the symptoms related to Zika. Zika can also be contracted through bodily fluids, so it is important for those that have traveled to get tested. If they do not get tested and are unaware of their disease, then they could pass it along to others. The main area in the United States where Zika is native is Florida. Be careful if you are traveling, and if you plan on traveling ensure that you are protected.
There is no need to fear that a mosquito in Michigan will give you Zika, but it is still very important that you are aware and inform others on how to protect themselves.