Zika Virus Disease : Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Zika Virus Disease : Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Zika is a potent virus that’s carried by mosquitoes. Zika virus belongs to a virus family, called Flaviviridae.

Whilst the Zika virus has existed since 1947, it hasn’t been known as a threat until lately.

Zika is especially concerning for women that are pregnant who might suffer birth anomalies, like microcephaly, to their unborn children.

The species include Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. Currently, only A. Aegypti has been dispersing Zika in the US, this species is present in countries with climates that are tropics.

While A. Albopictus can carry Zika, it hasn’t been proven to do so as of yet from the U.S.

The info shows that the vast majority of Zika cases in the USA are travel related, meaning while traveling out from the nation, they’re because of a person having been bitten by a mosquito.

Zika Fever or Disease

The infection caused by this virus is known as Zika fever or Zika virus disease.

Patients may have no or only mild symptoms, which are similar to a very mild form of yellow or dengue fever and West Nile virus.

Zika Mosquito

The only place in the USA that has been influenced by mosquitoes is a little region of Miami just north of through the downtown district.

California, Texas, florida, Maryland, NJ, Pennsylvania and NY have reported over 200 cases each reported in Florida.

Zika Virus Signs and symptoms

The incubation period of Zika virus infection is estimated to be three to fourteen days. Zika virus do not develop symptoms in majority of people, infected with this virus. Zika Virus Sign and Symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Rashes
  • Malaise
  • lower back pain
  • Headache
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Itching all over the body
  • Conjunctivitis or red eyes
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • A high temperature

Complications of Zika Virus disease

This disease can spread from a pregnant woman to her baby, which can result in severe brain malformations, microcephaly (as shown in the below image) and other birth defects.

Microcephaly indicates an abnormal small head, associated with abnormal brain development in babies. This is also known as congenital Zika syndrome.

In adults, Zika infections may result rarely in GuillainBarre syndrome, neuropathy and myelitis.

Zika Virus and Pregnancy

Transmission

Zika virus transmission may include:

  • From mother to fetus during pregnancy,
  • Through sexual contact
  • Transfusion of blood and blood products
  • Organ transplantation.

Zika Virus Diagnosis

Zika virus disease may be suspected based on the symptoms of persons living in or visiting areas with Zika virus transmission and/or Aedes mosquito vectors.

Diagnosis of Zika virus infection may include laboratory tests; such as, blood, urine or semen tests.

Treatment and Prevention

It is crucial that you learn how to reduce mosquito bites and if you travel from the US since Zika is spread by mosquitoes.

You must bear in mind that virus laden mosquitoes bite during the day and the night. Prevention and the CDC recommend using repellents registered active components, such as DEET, Picaridin, oil of IR3535, para menthane diol or eucalyptus. 

While there is no specific treatment of Zika virus disease, paracetamol and rest may help with the symptoms. As of 2016, the illness cannot be prevented by vaccines or medications.

Some brand name samples of approved repellents include Off! , Cutter Advanced, Repel, and SkinSmart. These repellents are safe even for women that are pregnant to use and also for all kids over the age of two months.

You’ll be best protected in the event that you wear long sleeve t-shirts, long pants and repellent treated shoes and socks when outdoors.

Cover infant carriers with netting to defend young babies from being bitten.

The only other way which you could get Zika other than from a mosquito bite is from sexual contact with an individual having the virus.

To defend this kind of transmission, always use a man or woman condom during sexual intercourse. 

Condoms should be used during anal, vaginal and oral sex to reduce transmission from semen or vaginal fluids.

Beware that an individual might transmit the virus before any symptoms start and even after symptoms end. The US government is maintaining a close monitoring system of Zika instances through the US and also in Puerto Rico, through the US Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.

The local authorities of Miami has taken measures to contain and reduce future outbreaks by using aerial spraying from some neighborhoods.

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