Zika Virus is actually a mosquito based Flaviviridae associated with dengue and yellow fever. The infection is hard to identify because of its nominal or no symptoms and in rare cases mild dengue fever.
The virus can affect unborn baby through affected pregnant mother and result in terrible brain deformation and other defects in babies.
Common symptoms of Zika Virus are
- Joint pain
- Red eyes
- Muscle ache
The symptoms usually last for a couple of days to a week. People don’t get much sickness that they think they don’t need to go to hospital and hardly lose their life. Therefore most patients do not realize about catching virus. Additionally most symptoms of zika virus are similar to other viruses caused by mosquito such as dengue.
Zika Virus Spread
The virus spreads among pople particularly through a bite of an infected Aedes mosquito that is responsible to spread dengue and chikungunya. This mosquito species lays eggs on standing water such as in buckets, bowls, flower pots and vases and bite people while living indoor and outdoor. Usually such virus infected mosquito bites in day but can also bite in night.
The mosquito also becomes infected when it bites an infected person and then bites other people to transmit the zika virus.
A pregnant lady can also transmit zika virus to her baby that causes microcephaly and other extreme fetal brain problems.
Zika can also travel from one person to another through sex. The virus can travel even before its symptoms become visible and after the symptoms disappear. Zika virus remains in semen for longer time as compare to urine, blood and vaginal fluids.
So meet your doctor if you develop symptoms and you live or have visited an affected area. Pregnant women showing symptoms of zika virus should be tested for the infection. As soon as a person is infected, he or she can be protected from future infections.
Zika Virus treatment
There is no specific treatment for this infection however most infected people can cure the aches and pains with medications. The disease lasts for a week. The patients should take sufficient of rest, drink liquids for proper hydration and intake acetaminophen for fever and pain. Do not take aspirin until dengue is found. Although no exact vaccine is found but scientists are researching on one.
Protection from mosquito bites is the best way to secure yourself from zika virus. It can be done by wearing clothes that cover the most of your body. Also use window screens or close doors and windows, sleep under mosquito nets or use insect repellent creams. More attention should be given to kids, elderly and sick people. If you are visiting an infected area, take the basic precautions to protect yourself from catching an infection.
You should cover, empty and clean the breeding sites such as buckets, drums, pots and old tyres.
Connection between Zika and other health problems
In rare conditions, ZIka is linked with Guillain Barre syndrome that can cause mild or complete paralysis that starts from legs.
List of Zika affected countries
American Samoa, Angola, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Bonaire, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cape Verde, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba,Curacao,Dominica, Dominican Republic , Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Kosrae, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, New Caledonia, Nicaragua, Palau, Panama,Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Saba, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin/Sint Maarten, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, U.S. Virgin Islands, Venezuela.