SO what is ZIKA??
It is a mosquito-borne virus , is raising concern worldwide because if infected, it can cause a neurological birth disorder.
It is transmitted by an aggressive Aedes aegypti mosquito, Zika is a part of the same family as yellow fever, West Nile, chikungunya and dengue.
This has caused so much panic and worry Because Researchers and scientists have not been able to come up with a cure for this infection. There is no vaccine to prevent it either.
HOW DOES THIS VIRUS SPREAD ??
1}Through mosquito bites
Zika virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito.
These mosquitoes typically lay eggs in and near standing water in things like buckets, bowls, animal dishes, flower pots and vases.
They are aggressive daytime biters, prefer to bite people, and live indoors and outdoors near people.
Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on a person already infected with the virus.
Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other people through bites.
2} Mother to child
- A mother already infected with Zika virus near the time of delivery can pass on the virus to her newborn around the time of birth, but this is rare.
- It is possible that this virus could be passed from mother to fetus during pregnancy. This mode of transmission is being investigated.
- To date, there are no reports of infants getting Zika virus through breastfeeding. Because of the benefits of breastfeeding, mothers are encouraged to breastfeed even in areas where this virus is found.
3}Through infected blood or sexual contact
- Spread of the virus through blood transfusion and sexual contact has occured
- About 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus develop zika
- The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. The incubation period (the time from exposure to symptoms) for Zika virus disease is not known, but is likely to be a few days to a week.
- The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week.
Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for a few days but it can be found longer in some people.
- Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.
- Deaths are rare.
Zika virus is diagnosed through PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and virus isolation from blood samples. Diagnosis by serology can be difficult as the virus can cross-react with other flaviviruses such as dengue, West Nile and yellow fever.
- No vaccine or medications are available to prevent or treat Zika infections.
- Treat the symptoms:
- Get plenty of rest
- Drink fluids to prevent dehydration
- Take medicine such as acetaminophen to relieve fever and pain
- Do not take aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen and naproxen. Aspirin and NSAIDs should be avoided until dengue can be ruled out to reduce the risk of hemorrhage (bleeding).
- If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication.
- If you have Zika, avoid mosquito bites for the first week of your illness.
- During the first week of infection, Zika virus can be found in the blood and passed from an infected person to another mosquito through mosquito bites.
- An infected mosquito can then spread the virus to other people.
How to protect yourself?
Due to lack of a medical answer to this virus, it is better to avoid traveling to areas affected by this virus. If it cannot be avoided, then use an EPA-approved repellent over sunscreen, wear long pants and long sleeved shirts.
Travelers should take the basic precautions described above to protect themselves from mosquito bites.