Tips to Recover from Zika Virus
Zika outbreaks are quite common in a number of countries around the world. According to the CDC, the new list of countries with outbreaks includes: Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Cape Verde, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Samoa, Suriname and Venezuela. Zika cannot be cured, but you can follow the combination of home measures and medical treatments to help you recover as early as possible.
Method 1: Using Home Measures
1. Stay hydrated :
After you recover from Zika, remember to drink a lot of fluids. When you are affected by the Zika virus, you often become dehydrated and suffering from fever may make dehydration even worse. You have to drink a minimum of at least 8 glasses of water per day, otherwise can drink even more.
- Drinking non-caffeinated tea and/or electrolyte sports beverages is also a good way to keep yourself hydrated.
- Stay away from coffee and alcohol as you want to recover. You will be even more dehydrated.
2. Rest often :
You can easily boost up the strength of your immune system by resting more. Take at least a minimum of eight hours of sleep every night till you recover from Zika.
- It may be better to take leave from your work for a few days and avoid getting stressful immediately after recovering.
- Try some relaxing activities such as reading a book, listening to some soft music or watching a program on TV.
3. Boost your immune system :
Using the strategies to increase the strength of your immune system may help you because you may be confident in your immune system’s natural strength to fight back Zika. Be careful that there are no peer-reviewed studies to support the use of vitamins or supplements to help your immune system.
Since you will be relying on your immune system’s natural strength to fight back Zika, by using strategies to boost your immune system may help. Be aware that there are no peer-reviewed studies that support the use of supplements or vitamins to bolster your immune system.
- Garlic : Try to drink a tea made from a few cloves of crushed garlic or add a few cloves of minced garlic to your food every day.
- Vitamin C : Take around 500 to 1000 milligrams of vitamin C every day to strengthen your immune system.
- Echinacea : Drink a few cups of Echinacea tea regularly which may also help you well. You can also take 300-milligram capsules of Echinacea capsules three times a day.
- Zinc: For adult men, 11 milligrams of zinc is recommended and for women, it should be 8 milligrams.
Method 2: Using Medical Treatments
1. Consult a doctor if you notice any progress in symptoms :
Mostly, Zika doesn’t need any medical treatment for most of the cases it affects. It can be simply put off by taking more rest staying at home until you recover from Zika. But if you experience any pain or critical symptoms which can’t be managed by you at home, right then you have to consult a doctor.
- Since Zika can resemble dengue fever and chikungunya, better you consult a doctor to confirm your diagnosis as well. The doctor can ratify if you are suffering from Zika by performing a simple blood test.
2. Take acetaminophen for pain :
If you are affected with the symptoms of fever and/or pain (muscle aches and pains) caused by this virus, then you can try taking acetaminophen (Tylenol). Acetaminophen is readily available over-the-counter at your local drugstore or a pharmacy.
- The usual dose is 500 to 1000 mg every four to six hours. Do not exceed the prescribed dosage.
3. Stay away from aspirin and ibuprofen :
Note that, until your diagnosis of Zika is verified, it is a good idea to stay away from aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil). If you are suffering from dengue fever and not Zika (both are transmitted via the same type of mosquito), both the aspirin and ibuprofen raise your risk of bleeding.
4. Look out for complications :
After you recover from Zika, most importantly be aware of the potential complications of this virus. In many cases, mostly you will recover within a week or so. But, there can be complications of Zika that you should take care of as you recover. Complications may include:
- Guillain-Barre Syndrome(GBS) : As you recover, look for any unusual signs of numbness or tingling in your feet or lower extremities. GBS is an autoimmune disorder that follows a virus sometimes. It disturbs the outer coverings of your nerves and leads to numbness or even paralysis. GBS begins in the feet and lower legs and moves up to the body and towards the head. This is a rare complication, however, you should consult a doctor as soon as if you observe any of these symptoms.
- Microcephaly : If you are recovering from Zika and happen to be pregnant, there is a possibility that your baby could be born affected with microcephaly. This is an abnormally small head circumference that is connected with developmental delays, mental retardation and in the most severe cases, it leads to death. If you are pregnant while recovering from Zika or trying to become pregnant and if you have visited the above-mentioned countries and unknowingly developed those symptoms, speak to your doctor to prepare for the possibility of this birth defect.