Freckled Fridays- Ask the Pediatrician

FRECKLED FRIDAY WITH PEDIATRICIAN, DR. KATIE!

Q. Hi Dr. Katie! My husband and I live in Miami. Although our home is not located in Wynwood, we do go there frequently with our children to eat and shop. We are worried about the Zika virus!  We have two beautiful boys and are not planning on having any more children. I want to know what the risks are for my family, in particular my boys?  What are the long term affects of Zika virus in small children? When should I consider getting them tested?

You are not alone! Over the past few weeks, we have seen many families come through the pediatric emergency room concerned about mosquito bites and possible contraction of the Zika virus. Symptoms associated with Zika is usually mild in children. A child that has contracted the virus may not show symptoms at all. The symptoms that are associated with this virus include: fever, rash, conjunctivitis, or joint pain. Joint pain may be difficult to detect in small children as they have a hard time communicating their pain. You may notice irritability, walking with a limp, difficulty moving or refusing to use a certain extremity. If your child lives or has traveled to an area that has been affected by Zika virus and shows any of these particular symptoms, you should have them evaluated by their doctor. There are blood tests that will confirm the presence of the virus, and your child’s doctor can confirm the diagnosis following examination. There is no current cure for Zika virus. Treatment involves appropriate fever and pain management. The good news is that there is currently no evidence that Zika virus will lead to any lasting developmental issues in an already healthy child.

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