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The Effects of Zika Virus on Children

Zika VirusZika is a viral infection that's usually spread by the bite of infected mosquitoes. Zika virus outbreaks are currently happening in many territories and countries. The mosquitoes that can spread the virus live in many parts of the world, including the U.S. Read on to learn about the effects of Zika Virus on children.

How Zika Virus Spreads

Zika virus spreads to children and adults primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito. Zika virus can be passed through sex from a person who has Zika to his or her sex partners. Zika virus can also be spread through blood transfusion or from pregnant women to their fetuses. Zika virus doesn't spread to people through coughs and sneezes. You can't get Zika from casual contact, like holding hands.

Zika Infection During Pregnancy

Zika virus is of most concern for pregnant women and women who may become pregnant. In pregnant women, the virus can cause stillborn babies or miscarriages. Zika infection during pregnancy can also cause fetuses to have a birth defect of the brain called microcephaly. Other issues have been detected among babies infected with the virus before birth, including impaired growth, hearing deficits, or defects of the eye.

Postnatal Zika Infection

Babies and children can become infected with Zika virus postnatally via other routes of transmission, such as mosquito bites. Most children infected with Zika virus have a mild illness, similar to the findings seen in adults with Zika infection. Zika often doesn't cause symptoms. When it does, symptoms can include rash, fever, joint pain, and pink eye. Deaths due to Zika virus infection appear to be rare at all ages.

If you think you or your child might have been exposed to Zika, contact your doctor. Doctors can check people for Zika by doing urine tests or blood tests. No specific antiviral treatment for the virus exists. Treatment is aimed at relieving symptoms with fluids, rest, and medicines — such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen— to relieve fever and joint pain. Most people recover fully, with symptoms resolving in about a week.

Questions or Comments?

At Harvest Pediatrics, we encourage you to contact us whenever you have a concern or question related to your care.
You can reach us at:


Napa: (707) 252-1076
St. Helena: (707) 963-0171

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Napa Office

Monday:

8:30 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:30 am-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:30 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Friday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Saturday:

8:30 am-12:00 pm

Sunday:

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St. Helena Office

Monday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Thursday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Friday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed