A patient in Jamaica asked: 4 days ago had a sore throat. Lost voice for a day. Coughing. Now , 5 days later both eyes are red and watery. No other symptoms. Could it be Zika?
Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus (positive, single-stranded, enveloped RNA viruses), first discovered in the Zika forest of Uganda in 1947, and was first isolated from a human in 1952.
The most common symptoms in this outbreak were rash, fever, arthritis or arthralgia, and nonpurulent conjunctivitis. The absence of reported symptoms in many individuals with evidence of acute infection suggested a predominance of asymptomatic ZIKV infections (perhaps 80%).
Zika is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to MD and very rarely die of Zika. Thus many don’t realize they have been infected.
The key first symptoms are:
3. Joint pain: arthritis and arthralgia
4. Non purulent Conjunctivitis (red eyes without much discharge)
5. Muscle pain
7. Pain behind the eyes
If you have coughing, it is unlikely to be Zika and likely another virus.
For help with the cough, see https://drcremers.com/2016/02/how-to-treat-sinus-infections-fast.html
Sandra Lora Cremers, MD, FACS
Of note, people who are infected with Zika can develop Guillain-Barré Syndrome, which a friend and MD I know had: it can be deadly so be aware of this connection.