As pain specialists we understand the tremendous impact pain has on a persons’ quality of life. We care for thousands who suffer from chronic pain and we experience firsthand how recent regulations are affecting pain patients and the physicians that care for them. The tragedy of hundreds, even thousands, of drug overdose deaths has understandably taken precedence in the news media. Governments and other agencies have responded to the crisis, but some of the actions taken are highly unlikely to solve the problem of overdoses and needless deaths; meanwhile, they make life very difficult for individuals with chronic pain and for the physicians looking after them.
We fully support the fight against the opioid epidemic as it applies to fighting addiction but not when it hinders patient care.
The arena of Pain Management and how patients are treated is changing so rapidly, making it impossible for most providers and patients to keep up with. Many providers have stopped prescribing pain medications altogether and many pain patients are looking for answers. There has not been enough education about these changes provided to patients, providers or the public. As pain specialist it is our duty to stay up to date on current changes in order to be able to deliver quality care. We want to do our part, within our specialty, to combat the opioid epidemic and to provide answers for pain patients.
We launched the #PainStopsHere Campaign to provide education and resources to healthcare providers, patients, and our community. We also want to bring awareness to the chronic pain We want to help stop the pain, pain caused by addiction and drug abuse AND the physical pain experienced by over 100 million Americans every year.
The Zika Virus is a tropical infection that is relatively new to the Western Hemisphere.
Zika virus spreads to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus). People can also get Zika through sexual intercourse with a male or female partner infected with Zika and it can be spread from a pregnant woman to her fetus. People can protect themselves from mosquito bites and during sexual intercourse to prevent Zika. This fact sheet explains who's most affected and why, symptoms and treatment, and how to protect against Zika.
As of August 16, 2016, The Texas Department of State Health Services reports the following confirmed cases of the Zika virus in Texas all from traveling outside the US:
Many people infected with Zika won't have symptoms or will only have mild symptoms. The most common symptoms are:
- Joint pain
- Or Red eyes
Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. Symptoms can last for several days to a week. People usually don't get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. Once a person has been infected with Zika, they are likely to be protected from future infections.
The mosquitoes that carry Zika are aggressive daytime biters, but they can also bite at night. A mosquito becomes infected when it bites a person already infected with Zika. That mosquito can then spread the virus by biting more people.
Zika virus can also spread:
During sex with a man or woman infected with Zika.
From a pregnant woman to her fetus during pregnancy or around the time of birth.
Through blood transfusion (likely but not confirmed).
There is no specific medicine to treat Zika.
Treat the symptoms:
- Get plenty of rest.
- Drink fluids to prevent dehydration.
- Take medicine such as acetaminophen to reduce fever and pain.
- Do not take aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
- If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication.
To help prevent others from getting sick, strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the first week of illness.
There is no vaccine to prevent Zika. The best way to prevent diseases spread by mosquitoes is to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites. Here's how:
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside
- Take steps to control mosquitoes inside and outside your home.
- Treat your clothing and gear with permethrin or buy pre-treated items.
- Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents. Always follow the product label instructions.
- When used as directed, these insect repellents are proven safe and effective even for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
- Do not use insect repellents on babies younger than 2 months old.
- Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol on children younger than 3 years old.
- Mosquito netting can be used to cover babies younger than 2 months old in carriers, strollers, or cribs to protect them from mosquito bites.
- Sleep under a mosquito bed net if air conditioned or screened rooms are not available or if sleeping outdoors.
- Prevent sexual transmission of Zika by using condoms or not having sex.