Concern grows slowly over Zika virus

Fri, Jun 3, 2016

The 2016 Summer Olympics aren’t scheduled to take place in Brazil until August, but fears surrounding the Zika virus have some competitors rethinking their planned participation.


American cyclist Tejay van Garderen recently withdrew from consideration for USA Cycling citing fears over the virus,  BBC Sport reports. Others are considering doing the same. Spanish basketball player Pau Gasol and British tennis star Andy Murray also have publicly shared concerns over the Zika virus.


The Olympic athletes’ worries are echoing slow-growing concerns stirring in Wisconsin, especially in the wake of reports of two cases of Zika infection in the state.


“People are mildly concerned, however, they shouldn’t worry,” said Dr. Lynn Wagner, an integrative medicine physician with BayCare Clinic in Green Bay, Wisconsin. “There aren’t any confirmed cases of the Zika virus originating in Wisconsin, and the two we know of within the state resulted from people traveling to Zika hotspots.”


Zika virus information from the Centers for Disease Control and Protection


The Zika virus is transmitted primarily by a mosquito bite but can also be spread through blood transfusions or sex. It has been linked to the development of microcephaly (unusually small heads) and brain damage in newborns. It’s also said to cause temporary paralysis in adults, among other ill effects.


Symptoms of Zika infection are mild. They include rash, fever and muscle pain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


“While it’s unlikely you’d be infected by the Zika virus without traveling to a high-risk area, talk to your healthcare provider if you have concerns or feel you are exhibiting symptoms,” Wagner said.


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BayCare Clinic,, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.