What You Need To Know
Zika Virus is a mosquito-borne illness. It was identified in Uganda in 1947. in monkeys. Zika virus was later identified in humans in 1952 in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania. It is spread by the bite of a mosquito Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. Zika virus is similar to dengue fever, yellow fever and West Nile Virus. Zika Virus is largely transmitted through bites, but can also occur through intrauterine infection.
An outbreak of Zika virus disease have been recorded in Africa, the Americans, Asia and the Pacific. The first recorded outbreak of Zika virus disease was reported from the island of Yap (Federated States Of Micronesia) in 2007.
If a woman is bitten by an infected mosquito and becomes infected, Zika can cross into the placenta and affect the fetus. Pregnant women are the most at risk due to the potential for fetal microcephaly and other neurologic abnormalities.
Zika virus is transmitted by the infected Aedes aegypti, in the tropical and subtropical regions. The same mosquito transmits dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever. These mosquitoes lay eggs in or near standing water. A mosquito gets infected with a virus when it bites an infected person during the period of time when the virus can be found in the person’s blood, typically only through the first week of infection.
Travel is the main risk factor for transmission of the Zika Virus. It is mainly transmitted through mosquito bites, but it can also be passed on From a pregnant woman to her fetus, Through Sexual Contacts, Through a blood transfusion. It can also transmit through breastfeeding to infants.
Signs & Symptoms
The incubation period of the Zika virus disease is estimated from 3-14 days. Zika virus may be symptomless, or the symptoms can be vague and mild.
Initial symptoms include:
- Joint Pain
- Conjunctivitis or Red Eyes
- Muscle Pain
- Pain behind the eyes
Complication Of Zika Virus Disease
- Complications of the Zika virus can be devastating, while if a pregnant woman contracts with the virus. It can cause brain defects in the unborn child. This defect is known as Microcephaly. The brain and head of the newborn baby will be similar in size.
- During the recent outbreak in Brazil, there was a 10 fold increase in newborns with microcephaly after October 2015, compared with the previous year.
- Guillain-Barre Syndrome has been reported to the people following a Zika virus infection. it is a serious autoimmune system that affects the central nervous system.
Diagnosis & Testing
A diagnosis of Zika virus infection can only be confirmed with laboratory tests of blood, or other body fluids e.g urine and semen. Testing includes a molecular test that looks for the presence of a virus in the body. Serological test that looks for antibodies in the human body makes to fight infection.
There is no specific treatment for Zika virus infection disease. A person with symptoms should:
- Increase intake of liquid fluids to prevent dehydration
- Take a pain killer to relieve pain and fever.
There is currently no vaccination to protect against Zik virus infection.
- To protect against Zika virus infection prevent mosquito bites.
- Prevent sexual transmission of Zika if your partner is pregnant.
- prevent mosquito bites during travelling.
To prevent mosquito bites people should do:
- Use insect repellent
- Wear long sleeves garments
- Place mosquito nets over the bed.
- Use window and door screens.
- Avoid are with standing water, by emptying tanks or choosing to camp away from lakes or ponds.
All the content of this article is for information purposes only.
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