As you may have heard, the Zika virus, named after the area of Africa where it was first identified, has surfaced in South Florida, initially within the confines of Miami’s ultra-popular Wynwood Art District. As of August 20th, its now be identified in Miami Beach.  Undeniably, its presence has forced many tourists and locals to shun local businesses amid fears of contacting the disease and becoming a statistic. There are more than 30 confirmed cases. The CDC has issued an unprecedented travel alert for the areas affected and is aerial spraying a poisonous airborne toxin know as an “organophosphate”, similar to the warfare nerve agent, Sarin.  Unfortunately, that may be even worse than the impact of the Zika virus for children and pets.

What is insidious about Zika virus (ZV) is that you may contract the virus, yet go undetected because it causes little to no initial symptoms and may incubate for over a week. Unlike Dengue fever or Yellow fever, which are cousins of the ZV, Zika symptoms are often just a mild red rash and headache.  CDC researchers know that for pregnant women it can be very upsetting as the virus may spread to the infant and potentially cause birth defects such as microcephaly, or profound lack of cerebral brain development.  For the adult sufferer, it may also cause Guillain–Barré syndrome (paralysis of limbs) or an Alzheimer’s like memory deficiency.  Both can be life threatening.

To be clear, ZV is spread through a simple mosquito bite and we know mosquitoes are largely actively feeding during the dawn and dusk hours. ZV can also spread through sexual contact if a partner already has the virus, so it will be wise to use protection during sexual intercourse.

Although it’s been mostly confined to a small number of patients, the old adage of “it’s better to be safe than sorry” applies perfectly as there is currently no vaccine for Zika. Dr. Hall recommends to apply insect repellent with DEET whenever you’re outdoors, he suggests Ultrathon by 3M, especially if you’re going to be outside for a prolonged period of time. Dr. Hall also says, “It’s smart to avoid eating outdoors, wearing shorts, and areas where standing water has accumulated, as these are prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes. If you or your loved one develops a red whole body rash and headach and you think it may be Zika, we can test you within 48-72 hours of exposure.”

This update is provided by the staff of Hall Longevity Clinic, specializing in age optimization. We provide preventative, general and cosmetic medicine and a wide array of services including anti-aging analysis, advanced skin therapies, facial rejuvenation, and general healthcare options. Feel free to call us at 305-672-4733 for additional information or to schedule an appointment. You can also visit us at 1680 Meridian Avenue Suite 601, Miami Beach, Florida 33139.  Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.