Diagnosing and Treating Zika Online
Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness that is prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions, including Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the Americas. While a majority of the population infected with Zika does not experience symptoms, those that do report fever, joint pain, red eyes (conjunctivitis), and a rash.
One of the high-profile symptoms of Zika occurs in women who were pregnant when they were infected. In pregnant women, Zika can cause microcephaly, a brain malformation, or a miscarriage in the fetus. Zika has also been linked to Guillain-Barre syndrome, which is condition where the immune system attacks the nerves.
Risk factors that contribute to developing Zika include traveling to regions where there have been outbreaks, for example South America, North America, and West Africa. Another risk factor is unprotected sex – there have been cases of Zika being transmitted sexually.
During a video consult on Amwell your doctor will ask you a series of targeted questions to determine if your symptoms point to Zika. Then your provider will proceed to determine the best treatment plan for you. Your provider may recommend in-person examination by a specialist if needed. Your treatment plan is based on the duration and severity of your symptoms and your medical history.
Our platform has an image upload feature that is extremely helpful for both providers and patients. If you are producing physical symptoms, this feature allows our physicians can get a precise, detailed look at the outbreak before the visit even begins. This feature is also very useful to see how an outbreak has progressed. If you have a rash, it has been present for a few days and you have a picture from the first day, it is helpful for our providers to see the comparison. If your outbreak is on your face, this feature is specifically useful for those that wear makeup – you can take a picture when you have a clean face, save it and upload before your visit! For best results we recommend pictures be taken in bright, natural light, close to the rash and from a few different angles. If you can give a size perspective, like laying a dime near the rash, this can be extremely helpful, as well.
Once a diagnosis has been made, your doctor will go over the risks and benefits of the various treatment plans. Treatment for Zika is different depending on the severity.
Options for treatment of Zika may include:
- Joint pain reliever