These days we have so much information at our fingertips to help solve any parenting dilemma (admittedly, most of the times we may have too much). You could argue the Internet was both the best and worst thing to ever happen to parenting.
Despite the sometimes overwhelming amount of information, it’s still nice to consult a parenting expert once in a while to get some new ideas, advice and even a dose of perspective.
At LiveMom, we want to help answer your questions. We have a recurring feature called Ask the Expert, brought to you by Baylor Scott & White Health, that will take on a wide range of subjects, from potty training to car seats to dealing with kids and technology to anything in between.
Q: How dangerous is the Zika virus and how do I know if I have it?
A: Zika is a virus that can be spread by mosquitoes, can be transmitted from mother to child, and through sexual contact. Symptoms of the virus can include red eyes, joint pain, rash and fever. If a person has a rash with or without a fever and another one of the four symptoms, that is considered a probable case of Zika.
“This is not something to guess at,” said Goddy Corpuz, MD, Pediatrician, Baylor Scott & White Clinic – Cedar Park. “If you have any of these symptoms, you need to be seen.”
The best way to prevent getting Zika, health officials say, is to avoid mosquito bites. With mosquito season right around the corner, people should try to stay indoors when mosquitoes are most active, should wear insect repellent, and should avoid standing pools of water. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the mosquitoes that carry Zika mostly bite during the daytime.
“Zika can be life-threatening. In addition, it poses a grave risk for a birth defect called microcephaly, as well as eye defects, hearing loss and impaired growth for babies born to mothers with the virus,” Dr. Corpuz said. “There is still more to learn about the virus and its impact on mothers and children.”
According to the CDC, a Zika virus infection in a woman who is not currently pregnant would not pose a risk for birth defects in future pregnancies after the virus has cleared from her blood. Currently, there are no vaccines to prevent Zika virus, and the best prevention remains avoiding mosquito bites.
*This information is intended for general knowledge and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.
Dr. Goddy Corpuz, MD, is board-certified in Pediatrics.
Baylor Scott & White Clinic – Cedar Park
910 E. Whitestone Blvd.
Cedar Park, TX 78613
Read more expert medical tips and insights on Baylor Scott & White Health’s Scrubbing In, where hands-on healthcare discussions take place everyday.