A disease spread through mosquito bites, it’s no wonder Zika virus is on everyone’s watch list, as they trek and travel across the globe during the summer months.
Although fewer than 1,000 cases are reported in the U.S. each year, the CDC has issued an alert for travel to areas including: Brazil, Mexico, Jamaica and Cuba among other Latin American nations, where Zika virus is spreading like wild fire. Travelers who are pregnant or considering pregnancy have even been encouraged to consult a doctor before cashing in on those frequent flier miles.
Chrissy Rutherford, a New York woman, recently wrote an op-ed about contracting the rare illness while vacationing in Jamaica. According to the 30-year-old senior digital editor for Harper’s Bazaar, while her symptoms were very reminiscent of the sickness, Zika “had not even crossed my mind,” she told People at the time.
That is… until Rutherford developed a rash on her face and forearms. “I started breaking out in a rash, that’s when I was like ‘OK, there’s definitely something wrong with me,” she said. Only, even then, Rutherford was still in disbelief. Even her friends laughed off the chances of her self-diagnosis – after all, per recent news reports the disease hasn’t hit the U.S. quite like its surrounding nations.
“When I was [in Jamaica], I was like, ‘What are the chances I would actually get [Zika],’” Rutherford said. “I had put bug spray on once or twice, but I wasn’t super vigilant about it, and I didn’t put any on during the daytime.”