Zika virus : Six things you need to know about

Six things you need to know about Zika virus

Aedes aegypti mosquito
Aedes aegypti mosquito

Hi Everyone,

The mosquito-borne diseases such as Malaria, Yellow Fever, Chikungunya, and Zika are a threat to the global health. Theses diseases have become a bane of modernity. Fifty years ago, just a couple of countries reported dengue or malaria outbreaks; now it is endemic in more than 120 nations.

The transport networks that knit our world together have spread mosquitoes across the world and the explosion in urban living over the same period has ensured a ready supply of people to feed on and all sorts of new habitats to live in.

The mortality rate is about one in a hundred, but with the World Health Organisation estimates, there at least 100 million infections a year. So it is still a very serious health issue.

 

What is Zika?

The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness first discovered in 1947 when it was isolated from a monkey found in Uganda’s Zika Forest.

The name ‘Zika’ stems from the African forest in which it was discovered. From there, Zika spread to Pakistan and Indonesia, eventually making its way to Brazil in 2014, where it has since affected the most people.

Zika’s biggest threat is to unborn children and causes the birth defect microcephaly: abnormal smallness of the head, a congenital condition associated with incomplete brain development. Over 4k suspected cases of microcephaly have been documented in Brazil since then.

 

How is Zika transmitted?

Mosquito

The virus is primarily transmitted through the Aedes aegypti mosquito, a particularly aggressive, white-speckled mosquito that is active during the day.

Sexual

Zika can be transmitted from men and women to their sexual partners.

Pregnancy

The Zika virus can spread by vertical (or “mother-to-child”) transmission, during pregnancy or at delivery.

Blood transfusion

As of April 2016, two cases of Zika transmission through blood transfusions have been reported globally, both from Brazil

 

What are the symptoms?

Zika fever (also known as Zika virus disease) is an illness caused by the Zika virus.Most cases have no symptoms, but when present they are usually mild and can resemble dengue fever. Symptoms may include fever, red eyes, joint pain, headache, and a maculopapular rash. Symptoms generally last less than seven days. It has not caused any reported deaths during the initial infection.

Infection during pregnancy causes microcephaly and other brain malformations in some babies. Infection in adults has been linked to Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS).

Image of a baby with microcephaly (left) compared to a normal baby (right). This is one of the potential effects of Zika virus. Signs of microcephaly may develop a few months after birth(Source:Wekipedia).
Image of a baby with microcephaly (left) compared to a normal baby (right). This is one of the potential effects of Zika virus. Signs of microcephaly may develop a few months after birth(Source:Wekipedia).

Diagnosis is by testing the blood, urine, or saliva for the presence of Zika virus RNA when the person is sick.

 

Which areas are affected by Zika?

Current Zika transmission worldwide till 1 Dec 2017 according to ECDC(Source:ECDC).
Current Zika transmission worldwide till 1 Dec 2017 according to ECDC(Source:ECDC).

Has Zika virus reached India?

Zika virus disease has reached India, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirming first three cases in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad.

The WHO endorsed the findings of laboratory tests conducted in the country, saying all three cases, including that of a pregnanat woman, were reported from Bapunagar area of the city.

 

What can you do to prevent Zika?

Children are easy target of these virus. They are out in school and playgrounds most of the time. There they get mosquito bites which can make they infected with zika or any other fatal virus. you can do all the things listed below to safe gourd yourself from this deadly zika virus. Do wear and use a mosquito repellent like Good Knight to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites which can carry zika virus.

  • Avoid areas where there are a lot of mosquitoes
  • Wear long sleeves and long pants if you must go to those areas.
  • Cover drains, any standing water near or inside your home, etc.
  • Do what you need to do to prevent mosquito bites and control their population.
  • Avoid travelling to zika affected areas.
  • Use mosquito nets and screens for mosquito.
  • Use a good quality mosquito repellent.

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