Zika virus

Hidden Facts about Zika Virus

Zika is a mosquito-borne illness that is caused by the Zika virus. The Zika virus is spread by the Aedes mosquito species, which is also responsible for the transmission of chikungunya and dengue viruses. It’s difficult to avoid bites from this mosquito species, as they are active during the day.

Here are some fast facts about Zika that will make you more informed about the illness:

  • Cases of Zika virus are more common in tropical climates.
  • Zika virus symptoms can last for up to 7 days.
  • Most people infected with the virus do not show any symptoms.
  • Most infected people do not require hospitalization.
  • Zika virus can be spread from mother to fetus.
  • Zika virus infecting pregnant women can lead to birth defects.
  • There is currently no cure for the virus.
  • Avoiding mosquito bites is the most efficient way of prevention.
  • Some infected persons have also developed a serious central nervous system disorder (Guillain-Barre syndrome).
  • Death is rare among people infected with Zika virus.
Zika virus

Symptoms of Zika

Infected people do not show clear signs and symptoms. However, the noted signs and symptoms are:

  • Rashes
  • Joint Pain
  • Fever
  • Conjunctivitis (red eyes)
  • Muscle pain
  • Pain behind eyes
  • Headache
  • Vomiting

Since these symptoms do not clearly signal the present of Zika vrus, conducting a blood test is the best way to find out if someone is infected with the virus or not.

Treatment of Zika

There is no vaccination or treatment available currently for Zika. Various biotech organizations say they are on the verge of developing sensitive test for detecting antibodies to the virus.

Doctors recommend the following in order to treat Zika symptoms:

  • Proper rest
  • Drink lots of fluids to prevent dehydration.
  • Fever and pain relief with medications like paracetamol and acetaminophen.

Doctors strongly advise against the use of aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines until diagnosis of dengue fever is ruled out – as in case of dengue, risk of hemorrhage increases.

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