Jamaica Hospital and Councilman Eric Ulrich Collaborate To Educate the Community About Zika

zika 532278656The threat of the Zika virus outbreak in the United States is becoming more of a public health concern, especially now that it is summer and we are in the peak mosquito and travel season.

Councilman Eric Ulrich and Jamaica Hospital Medical Center wants everyone to know the basics and learn how to protect themselves and their loved ones from the growing threat of the Zika virus.

The councilman consulted with Dr. Farshad Bagheri; Director of Infectious Disease at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center to get important information you need to know. “I thank Dr. Farshad Bagheri and the entire team at Jamaica Hospital for putting together this timely and important information on the Zika virus,” said Councilman Eric Ulrich.  “I look forward to continuing our partnership so together we can help Queens residents stay healthy and safe.”

Here are the facts:

What is Zika and how is it transmitted?

Zika is a mosquito-borne virus. It is transmitted most commonly by the bite of the infected Aedes species mosquito. Transmission also occurs through sexual intercourse from an infected man to either female or male partners. The virus can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating the possibility of transmission through blood transfusions as well as female to male transmission through intercourse. To date, there are no reports of infants getting Zika virus through breastfeeding.

What are the symptoms?

Many people infected with the Zika virus will have no symptoms or mild symptoms that can last anywhere from a few days to a week. Most common symptoms include; conjunctivitis (pink eye), fever, rash and joint pain. Although symptoms are mild for most, a pregnant woman faces the greatest risk because Zika virus is known to cause microcephaly (a birth defect that causes a baby’s head to develop smaller than normal) as well as other brain defects in developing babies. It is also believed that the virus contributes to miscarriages. Zika virus has also been linked to a disorder of the nervous system known as Guillain-Barre syndrome. This disorder is more common in adult men than others. It causes the body‘s immune system to attack parts of the peripheral nervous system.

How long does the virus remain in the body if one is infected?

On average the virus remains in the body for about a week but there have been instances where it has lasted longer. The virus is present in semen longer than in blood.

Who is at risk?

Those who recently traveled to countries that have reported outbreaks, those who have had sexual intercourse with an infected man, pregnant women and unborn babies exposed to the virus.

 How can you protect yourself and loved ones?

Currently, there is no vaccine for the Zika virus; however, there are measures you can take to ensure safety and lessen the chances of infection.  Here are a few:

  • You can help prevent Zika infection by using EPA- registered insect repellents. The CDC suggests using repellents that have DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus, picaridin, or IR 3535.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, in mosquito-infested areas.
  • Pregnant women should abstain from sex or use condoms throughout their pregnancy when having intercourse with male-partners who may have been exposed.
  • Safeguard your home by throwing away, or, once a week turning over items outside or inside that collect water. Examples are tires, flower pots and trash containers.
  • Use indoor mosquito sprays in areas where the insects are commonly found, such as dark and humid places.
  • Install screens in doors and windows.
  • The best safety measure for pregnant women or women trying to become pregnant is to “postpone travel to countries declared high risk. If travel is unavoidable, she must consult with her doctor before embarking on that trip,” advises Dr. Bagheri. “Following the travel advice of agencies such as WHO (World Health Organization) and the CDC is also helpful.”

If you believe you are at risk for contracting the Zika virus and are experiencing symptoms, make an appointment to see your doctor immediately. To learn more information about Zika virus, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/zika/

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

What’s Bugging You?

Summer usually means picnics and family reunions, but it also means a reunion with insects that can wreak havoc on outdoor activities. Follow these tips to minimize the potential for bug bites and bee stings.

 

When outdoors – especially in wooded areas – wear long sleeves, pants, and socks to help protect your skin from insect bites. Be aware that insects may be drawn to scented soaps and perfumes. Also, cover food and drain or dump standing water, which attracts most insects.

Mosquito bites can be more than just annoying and itchy, they can also make you really sick. Using insect repellent is the best way to protect yourself and your family, especially when traveling overseas. Repellent is the best way to prevent diseases like Zika that are primarily spread by mosquitoes.

Treating Bites and Bee Stings

If a sting occurs, remove the stinger as soon as possible by scraping the area with your fingernail or something with a flat surface, such as a credit card. For bee and wasp stings and non-poisonous spider bites, wash the area thoroughly with soap and water and apply ice to reduce swelling. Continue to wash two or three times daily until the skin has healed.

Severe Reactions

If you are stung in the mouth, seek medical attention immediately. Severe swelling occurs quickly in oral mucous membranes and can block airways, making breathing difficult or impossible.

 

If you have a severe reaction to a bug bite, go to the nearest hospital Emergency Room or call 911. Otherwise Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center is available to help, to schedule an appointment, please call 718-206-7001.

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All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Mosquito Bites – More Than Just an Itch

Summertime means most of us will spend more time outdoors, but this means we must share our space with mosquitoes. Of the 3,000 species of mosquitoes in the world, roughly 200 can be found in the USA.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mosquitos have been labeled the most dangerous animal in the world since estimates hold mosquitos responsible for hundreds of millions of malaria cases each year, as well as transmitting West Nile virus, yellow fever and the more notable Zika virus.

We are told by health professionals and monitoring agencies that the Zika virus is primarily spread to people through the bite of an insect, the Aedes aegypti mosquito to be more specific. Additionally, there have been some cases where Zika has been spread through having sexual relations with an infected male. Men and women who have traveled to Zika hot spots should consider condom use during pregnancy if the man has been exposed.

The most common symptoms of the Zika virus disease are:

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Joint pain
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)

The CDC goes on to state that the Zika virus is usually mild with symptoms that last from several days to one week, but with Zika being linked to birth defects in women infected during pregnancy, the CDC recommends the following measures to protect you against being bitten:

  • Repellents – When used as directed, insect repellents are the best way to protect yourself and family from getting mosquito bites. The higher percentages of active ingredients provide longer lasting protection.
  • Cover up – When weather permits, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants.
  • Keep mosquitoes outside – Use air conditioning or make sure that you repair and use window/door screens
  • Protect yourself when traveling – learn about the country-specific travel advice, health risks and how to stay safe.

Since specific areas where Zika is spreading, and most prevalent, are often difficult to determine and are likely to change over time, please visit the CDC Travelers’ Health Site for the most updated information at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-travel-information

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Zika

According to the Centers for Disease, Control and Prevention, the Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito.  The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis.

Most recently, the Zika virus has been linked to microcephaly in babies of mother’s who contracted the virus during pregnancy. Microcephaly is a condition where a baby’s brain with microcephaly does not develop properly during the pregnancy or has stopped growing after birth, this results in a smaller sized head.

What we DO know:

  • Zika virus can be passed from pregnant women to their fetus during pregnancy or at delivery.
  • Pregnant women can be infected with the Zika virus through the bite of an infected mosquito
  • You can become infected by a male sex partner
  • Pregnant women should not travel to areas affected by Zika
  • Based on available evidence, the Zika virus infection in a woman who is not pregnant would not pose a risk for birth defects in future pregnancies after the virus has cleared from her blood.

What we DO NOT know:

  • How likely a pregnant woman who has been exposed to Zika will get the virus
  • How the virus will affect her pregnancy or how likely it is that Zika will pass to her fetus
  • If the infected fetus will develop other birth defects or when in the pregnancy the infection might cause harm to the fetus
  • If sexual transmission of Zika virus poses a different risk of birth defects that mosquito-borne transmission

If you must travel to Zika areas affected by Zika, speak with your healthcare provider about the risks of Zika Virus before you travel.  Learn how to protect yourself from mosquito bites and try to avoid regions where Zika is present.

If you have traveled to a region where Zika is present and are pregnant, talk to your health care provider about Zika symptoms. If you would like to speak with a physician, you can make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Women’s Health Center, call 718-291-3276.

For more FAQ’s on Zika Virus you will find the following websites helpful –

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.