Zika Rash - Pictures, Treatment, Symptoms, Causes, Prevention

Zika Rash

Zika virus is a virus belonging to the family of Flavivirus, which causes mild illness in the human body. This term ‘Zika’ bears its origin to the Zika Forest in Uganda, where the virus was first discovered. It was known to be confined to Africa till 2007, when a case was reported outside Africa. This illness is characterized by fever, muscle and joint pain, conjunctivitis and rashes. Other uncommon symptoms include malaise, nausea and abdominal pain. The symptoms do not continue for more than a week and the illness is mild enough to require hospitalization.

However, Zika  Virus has been notorious for complicating health in the form of other illnesses like Guillain-Barré syndrome and Microcephaly. In GBS, a person’s immune system attacks the cells of the nervous system. Microcephaly causes birth defects in children, which includes under-sized craniums and other developmental issues. Since the detection of the first case of Zika Virus in Brazil in 2015, the numbers have increased in parts of Latin America and French Polynesia. Countries like El Salvador has even gone to the extent of urging women not to get pregnant till 2015, to avoid Microcephaly in children.

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Zika Rash – What does it look like?

The rashes associated with this kind of illness are of maculopapular type. Such rashes are flat otherwise with small bumps at places. They are erythematous, red in colour. Maculopapular is a word combining two words; macule and papule. Macule refers to small spots which are flat and discolored present on the surface of the skin.  Papules are small slightly raised erythematous red spots. Maculopapular describes the kind of rashes which combine both the features.

Such spots may be either morbiliform or scarlatiniform in nature. Morbiliform are the ones which are similar to that of rash of measles. These macular lesions are around 2-10 mm in diameter and red in colour. They may be confluent (appearing together) at places, making the rash appear larger.

The scarlatiniform rash, as the name suggests, are similar to the rashes appearing in scarlet fever. These are small red rashes, numerous and having diffuse distribution. This name is not characteristic to scarlet fever and should not be confused.

The rashes occurring in Zika Fever are known to start with the face, which later spreads to the rest of the body. The rash appears on face on the first day of the appearance of symptoms. The rashes get their peak at the second or third day and start disappearing then after.

Zika Rash does not need any specific treatment and subside within a few days by themselves. They do not leave away any scar or spots and the skin returns to its normal structure after the rashes subside.

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Zika Virus  – Prevention

The WHO (World Health Organization) has declared ‘Zika’ as a global emergency  with 23  countries reporting cases of infection.  Read about Zika affected countries.  There are increasing numbers of cases that are being reported in many more nations.  WHO reports that 4 million people in the world may be infected by the end of 2015, if the situation is not brought into control. The main reason for this spread is the increased international traveling. Pregnant women are the biggest risk factor with the threat of Microcephaly. So far, there are no medications or vaccines known to be effective against this virus.

The only way to prevent the disease is to prevent mosquito bites. This can be done by using proper insect repellents and wearing long- sleeve clothes and keeping yourself covered. Also you can minimize the multiplication of mosquito in your area by preventing stagnation of water in every possible manner.

Zika Rash – Pictures

Here is how the rash triggered by Zika Virus looks like.

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Comments (21)

  1. Carla meadows

    I was first hospitalized Thanksgiving to December 4 with hemolytic anemia, pneumonia and a rash similar to this on my legs. They could not identify the rash. About two weeks ago I was in the ER 2 times for severe asthma and a severe rash on both legs which is similar to the pictures that are associated with the Zika virus. You may contact me at 334-723-5457.
    The same week I went to my pulmonologist and he wanted me to see a dermatologist but the dermatologist said I was on so many steroids that I would have to come back after everything was out of my system. Since that time I have been on an Antibiotic which I have completed.
    We have lots of rain and puddled water all around us. I have seen a strange looking bug, flying insect, at my back door one day and took a picture of it because I had never saying something that look like that. I have not compare that with the Zika
    I had received a voicemail from my sister saying that my legs look like the pictures associated with this virus but I just found the voicemail that she left and that’s why I’m sending this message to you now.Thank you

    • Elizabeth plymel

      What did you find out was it zika cause I see you have alabama area code. That’s where I live

  2. Amy Thomas

    I have Zika now. Have had the rash for 3 days now and extreme swelling in hands and ankles. The joint pain is unbearable the rash itches but the swelling of my hands and ankles is the worst.

  3. Kris

    my encounter with zika isnt the same as this article describes it…i first had all the symptoms except the rash 3 days ago…after a day i only had orbital pain, little joint pain and a slight fever…i first encountered the rashes last night and it has now spread to my face.

  4. Ian

    I think I have the same thing. How long did it take to get over the whole thing.

  5. Lil

    I came back from Nicaragua last week Friday, since I got back I felt so tired, i’ve traveled to Asia before with 16 hour flight time plus lay over, but never felt this tired. Yesterday I noticed rash on my face, then this morning I woke up with swollen hands and rash all over my body, my feet also hurts. Although I haven’t been feeling well, i’ve been going to work, i did an Eve shift yesterday, supposed to work as well this weekend, I think I will be calling in sick this time.

  6. Jennifer

    I had several itchy rashes appear about a month ago under my breast, behind my legs and on my arms. Took a while to go away. Still don’t know what it was. Never had this happen in my 37 years. Wondering now if this was Zika?

  7. Anellesse

    Hi I was in St Lucia on my honeymoon recently and was bit. My husband and I both developed a rash on our ankles. Mine much larger than his. It did not look like this. It was under the skin almost like little blood blisters. I also developed flu like symptoms for a day and a half. Does this sound like Zika or maybe just a case of dehydration and we happened to have rashes from hiking that day and rubbing against something? I went to the nurse there and and no fever or red eyes. I was achy but i think from getting sick. It only lasted a day. I am scheduled to be tested at the lab but getting nervous.

  8. L. Steven Spak, Ph.D.

    ZIKA is a different strain than the one identified in Africa decades ago. It has mutated and little is known. Calling it a minor inconvenience is like calling a hurricane a drizzle. The painful joints are rarely mentioned. When the true nature of ZIKA as an STD(venearial disease) that can sometimes be transmitted by certain mosquitos is revealed, the game will change. ZIKA stays in the vaginal tract and semen for extented periods of time. After many years it comes back as GUILLAIN-BARRE SYNDROME, and attacks the nervous system causing paralysis and death by suffocation. In the interim, it spreads by bodily fluids, including blood..saliva…etc..In some ways it resembles HIV…only easier to get and more deadly. After 20years HIV is still not understood very well..and no vaccine or cure…this is the reasoning for drastic methods of mass pesticide use and GMMosquitos in Miami…and Brazil….the ZIKA virus uses the bodies own immune system to attack the nervous system….That is the rash and joint pain as it takes hold before going into a long dormant state…allowing its victims to spread it everywhere via fluids without warning. Hope this data was helpful.

    • Arnout

      Indeed not much is known about ZIKV, although Pubmed contains 1743 articles on the subject. I find it strange that the WHO does not count itchiness as a symptom, while a representative study shows about 80% of people reported the itch, while much fewer reported a fever. Your comment interests me, and since you are a PH.D. I would like to ask if you have any more information and if I can get in contact with you.

  9. I just got back from PR this week, I live in Chicago,and now I see a rash all over my body and my eyes are red. But I’m not having joint pain or other sickness, am I ok to be around children and other people? I’m supposed to babysit tomorrow?

  10. luke

    I think I have been bit by one of these annoying mosquitos as well. I was bitten on 9/2/16 on the back of the neck. It is now 9/13/16 and the mark is still there. I just noticed a rash forming.. or fading.. on the back side of my left arm. The first week was only joint pain for me, and mostly in the region where the bite was. I see that most experience the bites to last a week or so, but in my case, it seems that it has lasted a bit longer. This leaves me slightly concerned, but I have been feeling fine, so I dont think I need to rush to the hospital just yet. Oh! I go to college on the North side of Chicago Il, so Chicagoans beware!

  11. niko paulus

    hello guys. I live in south Africa. I am 14years old and I’m a boy. I entered the eskom expo for young scientists competition where we try to solve the problems around the world. my project was the PREVENTION FOR ZIKA VIRUS. I took the 3rd place and I was not able to complete my presentation because I passed out at my hotel room where I was alone. so next (2017) I will repeat it again and try my best to take the 1st place so that my product can help everyone who suffers from the illnesses. I invented a bathing soap, body lotion and .a mosquito repealing spray. the soap and lotion can heal any type of skin rash, headache, fever, muscle and joint pain and itchiness .. I would like to help you guys

  12. Hello, I live in Costa Rica, the mosquito’s are not bad here in San Jose, however 3 times in the past 2 years (1 right now) i have developed zika symptoms after being bitten at the beach/river/jungle. It’s important to not i did not bother going to the doctor… (why would I).

    Anyway i wanted to let you all know my secret to beating the unbearable itch (which develops into unbearable pain if scratched) my solution is to shower under the hottest water possible, i suggest building up the heat, starting with warm water so you do not burn yourself. Try not to scratch the sores(rash) as it can reactivate the itch… unfortunately the itch also returns every 6 hours or so for the entire duration of the ordeal in my case 15 to 20 days each time.

    I also call #BullShit that some think that one can not contract zika multiple times, mosquito’s always attack me more then other people.

    Goodluck, please don’t burn yourself, and if you do its not my fault. 🙂

  13. Susie

    I am currently in Barbados, and aware that Zika is present here.
    I have been feeling odd for the last few days, dizzy light headed, & weak.
    Today I have come out in a rash basically all over. Checked online to what the Ziks rash looks like and am 99.9 certain it’s what I have.

    Advise required as to is there anything I can take to ease the symptoms until I can get to a doctor. Eg: Asprin, Paracetomel etc.
    Thanks in advance

  14. Susie

    I know this are in 2016 and hope someone is around. I live in N. Central TX, got bit last week by a mosquito in my house, probably since we’ve had rain. Anyway, it hurt a bit more than usual, and I did scratch it. It is on my right arm, wrist area. So about 2 days later, I started having a rash there. Since then the rash is spreading. More on my right on, then now on my left arm, various small places on my chest. Noticed yesterday on the right side of my face, cheek area, then today (Sunday) on the left side of my face. Under my left breast. Not sure where else.

    Could this be Ziki? I plan on going to the doctor tomorrow if it’s not better. It itches like crazy, so I’m putting Calamine lotion on it. Taking high doses of vitamin C, esp. Lypo-Spheric C. No other problems yet, except eyes seem a little blurrier than usual. I have a back problem, stenosis, so if that does hurt, it’s definitely not unusual.

    I’m not a conspiracy-type of person, but I think this virus was “tweaked” from what it originally was.


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