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Suggest treatment for symptoms of Zika virus infection

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Olsi Taka

Neurologist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3650 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 23 Aug 2016 in Environmental and Occupational Hazards
Question: My wife returned from the Dominican Republic from a cruise where they did mission work in the towns. She has had a consistent headache behind her eyes for over a week now. Today her vision is blurry and she has nausea. She is 42 years old and in good shape at about 124 pounds and 5'4". She has had some sweating episodes, but wrote them off as just being too hot outside. Her eyes are bloodshot and she says her contacts are not bothering her. We are fearing the Zika virus. She isn't pregnant and doesn't plan on becoming that. Advil takes away the small pains but the headache behind her eyes has remained.
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Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka 19 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Read below.

Detailed Answer:
I read your question carefully and I understand your concern.

Unfortunately the symptoms of Zika virus infection are not specific, meaning they could be caused by other common viral infections as well. So there is no certain way to make a diagnosis by symptoms alone, when there is a viral infection and a person has been in a country where active transmission has been reported Zika infection is a possibility and diagnosis is made by testing blood, urine or saliva for the viruse's RNA. In a pregnant individual particular attention must be made and testing done even when suspicion grade is really low, in others generally infection is mild and recover without any treatment.

So I cannot exclude Zika infection. However the typical clinical picture would include also fever, joint pain (mind you, common influenza would cause these as well) and a rash. So I would say the possibility of it being Zika is low.

The symptoms can well be in the setting of a sinus infection given the headache location. If the symptoms persist over the following days which would be beyond the normal direction of common viral infections she should be seen by a doctor to get checked for infection signs or other potential neurological signs indicating a brain lesion.

I remain at your disposal for other questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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