Bronx has largest number of NYC Zika Cases

(l-r) Dr. Oxiris Barbot, Dr. Thomas Isekengbe, Bronx Community College president and Dr. Jane Bedell hosted the informative session on the Zika Virus and the city’s response to the Bronx’s 149 confirmed cases of the disease.
Photo by Miriam Quin

As of July 29, the Bronx has the highest number of Zika cases in the city with 156 reported cases, according to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene website.

Manhattan has 86 cases, Brooklyn has 83 cases and Queens has 78 cases and Staten Island has three.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of Zika include fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (commonly known as ‘pink eye’).

Other symptoms include muscle pain and headaches.

However, according to the DOH, 80 percent of people who contract Zika do not get sick. The virus can have the worst effect on pregnant women.

If Zika is contacted during pregnancy, it can cause birth defects of the fetus’ brain.

The CDC reports other defects to infants and fetuses include hearing defects, eye defects or impaired growth.

According to the DOH, Zika is commonly contracted through mosquito bites. However, the department has found New York mosquitos do not carry Zika.

Instead, NYC residents are more likely to contract Zika through travel.

The Department of Health cautions residents should be aware of Zika infested areas before traveling.

Zika is currently affecting, Central and South America, Mexico and parts of the Caribbean.

The agency said if someone is planning to travel to these areas they should try to delay the trip.

“As we enter the peak of mosquito season, we remind all New Yorkers especially pregnant women, and women and men who are planning to conceive to postpone travel to regions where Zika is circulating,” said DOH press secretary Chris Miller. “New Yorkers can do their part to stay safe by heeding travel guidance and taking preventive measures to avoid mosquito bites.”

The DOH said if you cannot delay the trip, use insect repellent that has DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.

In addition to contracting the virus through mosquito bites, Zika can also be transmitted sexually.

If someone thinks they’ve contracted Zika, they should get tested.

The DOH said there is no cure to Zika but the virus can be treated with medicine like acetaminophen.

People who have Zika can recover from the virus by resting and drinking fluids.

The Zika virus has been in the news lately as the 2016 Rio Olympics approaches.

Brazil is one of the countries with the largest number of Zika reports which caused some Olympic athletes to forgo the summer games

Reach Reporter Robert Christie at (718) 260-4591. E-mail him at rchristie@cnglocal.com.
The Zika Virus
Photo Courtesy of NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

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