Chrissy Rutherford, a digital editor at Harper's Bazaar, has come forward to write her first-hand account for the magazine of what it's like to contract the Zika virus. The story is meant to help dispel myths about Zika while giving readers an understanding of how the virus manifests itself in an otherwise healthy person.
Rutherford believes she contracted the virus in Jamaica and first noticed an odd rash on her face that appeared days after returning from her vacation. "I started to Google my symptoms on the train, and the word 'Zika' stared back at me, along with all my ailments," she wrote in Bazaar. "Joint pain, muscle pain and a rash. Obviously I was convinced I have it — despite not having every symptom listed."
She explained that after brushing off the smaller symptoms, the rash convinced her it was Zika. Her condition worsened quickly as she became violently sick the next night. After two doctors trips and a urine test, her fears were confirmed.
Rutherford then explains that since Zika is a virus, there is no prescription medication that can speed up recovery. "All I could do was rest, take Tylenol and an anti-histamine for the rash. I also had to come back the next day to have blood drawn for the CDC," she wrote.
She was bed-ridden for over a week, having to "psych myself to get out of bed" with "itching fits that would leave me in tears."
Rutherford concluded, "It's now been 19 days since I first started having symptoms, and while my rash and pink eye have receded, I'm still suffering from lethargy. If this experience taught me anything, it's the importance of being informed — and the importance of bug spray."
Hopefully Rutherford will make a speedy recovery and bravo to her for raising awareness about a virus that has a famous name but is still a mystery to many living in the United States.
(Photos from top: EyeEm/Getty Images, ABC News)