As a travel nurse, you may encounter patients concerned about the Zika virus disease, especially if you are in Texas or Florida. These hurricane-battered states suffered extensive flood damage and have plenty of breeding spots for the disease-carrying bloodsuckers. 

Although chillier temperatures will kill Zika-carrrying mosquitos, forecasts of weather in the 80s for a few more weeks could set the stage for an increase in cases.

Most people infected with the virus have no symptoms or only mild ones. The most common symptoms of Zika are:

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Headache
  • Joint pain
  • Conjunctivitis (red eyes)
  • Muscle pain

Pregnant women with these symptoms, especially if they or their partners traveled to certain locations, need to see a physician for diagnosis as infection during pregnancy can cause a birth defect called microcephaly and other serious fetal brain defects. As of last month, 2,155 pregnant women had lab evidence of Zika virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the CDC, Texas reported 353 West Nile infections—17 percent of all U.S. cases—resulting in 13 deaths. This year 48 infections and 2 deaths were reported in Texas as of August 29th. Hurricane Harvey could increase those numbers.

Pregnant women or their partners who recently traveled or plan to can check here to learn about areas with confirmed Zika cases.

To help prevent infection, share these ZIKA TIPS with patients:

Zap your chances of getting the virus by avoiding mosquito bites.

Invest in your health by exercising indoors. Heat attracts mosquitoes so sweat inside.

Keep your feet, body and limbs covered. Baggier clothes offer better protection. 

Apply repellent correctly.  Don’t wear it under clothes. Apply it after sunscreen. 


Travel smart. Learn what to do before, during, and after the trip. Visit the CDC.

Identify and eliminate standing water throughout your home.

Protect yourself. The Zika virus can be passed through sex. so be sure to use condoms.

Share this information with family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors.


Zika virus prevention requires awareness and action. Spread the word.

Robin Farmer

Robin Farmer covers health, business, and education as a freelance journalist. Visit her online at

Latest posts by Robin Farmer (see all)

More Nursing News

  • You've been in nursing for a while, and you want to change it up—perhaps with a new hospital, a new job, or a new location. Maybe you’ve always wanted to travel across the country and see different cities and experience different ways of life. Maybe you want to avoid winter…

  • In October 2012, Rebecca Lee, RN, was working at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. Hurricane Sandy hit, and it hit hard. Lee recalls that all the subways, highways, tunnels, and bridges were closed. Streetlights were out. Robberies and looting was rampant throughout the city. “We had to walk in…

  • Have you ever wondered about travel nursing and how you could make it work for you? I interviewed Austin Rogers, an emergency room (ER) travel nurse currently on assignment in California, about some of his most memorable moments from travel nursing so far. When did you first hear about travel…

Listen to the Nursecasts Podcast on your Amazon Alexa or Echo

Launch the latest episode of Nursecasts on your smart speaker today or click below to listen online.


You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This