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How will I know if I’m infected?

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Ryan E. Poppe
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Researchers are looking to develop a quick test that can detect Zika.

The Centers for Disease Control reports about 80 percent (4 out of 5) people who are infected will not feel any symptoms. For the 20 percent who do experience symptoms, the most common are:

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Joint pain
  • Conjunctivitis (red eyes)

Less common symptoms include:

  • Muscle pain
  • Headache

Symptoms can last for several days to a week. It is unlikely people infected with Zika will get sick enough to need to go to the hospital. Once you have been infected with Zika, it is likely you will be protected from future infections. Death from Zika is extremely rare.

There is no specific medicine for Zika-infected patients. The medical community suggests those with symptoms should:

  • Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration
  • Take acetaminophen to reduce pain and fever
  • Get plenty of rest

A doctor can use a blood or urine test to determine a Zika infection. The physician will make a diagnosis based on these tests results, recent travel history and symptoms.

Wendy Rigby is a San Antonio native who has worked as a journalist for more than 25 years. She spent two decades at KENS-TV covering health and medical news. Now, she brings her considerable background, experience and passion to Texas Public Radio.