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Zika Virus: Pain Management Advice From the CDC

The Zika virus has been all over the news lately; nearly a million persons in Brazil have been infected. In addition, may people in Central and South American have become ill due to this mosquito borne virus.

Approximately one in five persons who contracts Zika virus will become ill. Symptoms include joint pain, fever, conjunctivitis, and rash.  These symptoms seem to last for about a week, and then go away. Some symptoms of Zika virus closely resemble Dengue fever and Chikungunya. As a matter of fact, all three of these viruses have been known to be carried by the same  variety of mosquitoes!

This virus was first identified in Americans sometime around 2007; those who were infected initially contracted the illness due to travel.  However, at this point in time, infected mosquitoes are commonplace in the US. Cases of Zika virus are on the rise here in the states.  While NSAIDs including aspirin and ibuprofen are effective in relief of virus associated joint pain and fever, the CDC does not recommend using these products to relieve symptoms. 

Anyone who has suspected Zika virus should get plenty of rest and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.  If medication for joint pain and/or fever is needed before dengue fever is ruled out, the use of acetaminophen is advised.

As per the CDC website: 

"Do not take aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen and naproxen. Aspirin and NSAIDs should be avoided until dengue can be ruled out to reduce the risk of hemorrhage (bleeding). If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your health care provider before taking additional medication."

Sources: Pain Medicine News;; Wikimedia


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