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Symptoms & Treatment

Many of the symptoms for dengue, chikungunya and Zika are similar, making recognition of the actual disease a challenge for physicians. Symptoms are described as flu-like, without the respiratory problems, and may include a high fever lasting 5-7 days, severe headache, body aches, pain behind the eyes, conjunctivitis, joint pain, rash, nausea or vomiting. 

All of the symptoms may not be present in the patient. Severe forms of dengue can result in shock, severe bleeding or death; this is most common when the victim has been infected after an earlier infection with a different dengue virus type. Severe forms of chikungunya disease are characterized by persistent, severe joint pain that may last weeks or months. Zika virus infection during pregnancy can result in a range of severe birth defects in newborns or fetal abortion. Males infected with Zika virus can infect sexual partners weeks after their initial infection, a particular concern when the partner is pregnant. Other unexpected serious outcomes of Zika virus infection include the neurological affliction, Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

Contact your healthcare provider if you develop any of the symptoms above and be sure to inform them of any recent travel. There are no vaccines to prevent or medicines to treat the infection of dengue, chikungunya or Zika.