Zika Virus: Should you Start Worrying?

1- What is the ZIKA Virus?

ZIKA virus is an arthropod-borne illness. The virus is transmitted by an Aedes species of mosquito. This species of mosquito also transmits Dengue and Chikungunya virus. Zika virus (ZIKV) belongs to the virus family Flaviviridae and the genus Flavivirus. The virus was first isolated from a specific forest in Uganda, therefore named as ZIKA virus.

From Where did the Virus originate?

The origination of the virus dates back to 1947. It originates from Uganda. Initially, outbreaks occurred within the region of Africa. Later in 2007, they started appearing even outside the African continent, and the virus started spreading to the South Pacific. The first human case of the infection was reported in Nigeria, following this case, there had been numerous outbreaks extending to South East Asia and Pacific Islands.

3- Some Facts About the ZIKA Virus

Some key facts about the virus are as follows:

  • Cases are very prevalent in tropical climates
  • The symptoms last up to a week
  • In the majority of cases, people infected with the virus remain asymptomatic
  • It transmits from infected mother to a fetus during pregnancy
  • It spreads from one infected partner to another during sexual activity

4- How does the ZIKA Virus Spread?

Primarily, the ZIKA virus spreads through the bite of a mosquito. After infection, the ZIKA virus goes into the blood of the infected person. The virus can be spread if the specific mosquito bites an infected person and then goes and bite another person. So the virus can be passed from an infected person through mosquito bites. Furthermore, ZIKA virus can spread through sex or fluids exchange. If you have traveled to a region with a high prevalence of the infection and think you could have caught it, make sure you do not pass it to your partner by using condoms.

5- What are the Signs and  Symptoms?

Sign and symptoms of the virus can last for a week. Following are the common signs and symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Vertigo
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Muscular pain
  • Fever
  • Rashes
  • Joint pain
  • Chills
  • Loss of appetite
  • A headache
  • Profuse sweating

6- What are the Potential Risk Factors?

The most significant potential risk factor for this virus is its transmission from the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no treatment available; however, many people with manifestations do well with over-the-counter medicines. No vaccine is accessible; however, development of a vaccine is still in its infancy stage.

7- How to Prevent Infection from ZIKA Virus?

Since there is as of now no immunization to secure against the ailment, maintaining a strategic distance from mosquito nibbles is essential to averting transmission of this virus.  To avoid mosquito bites, insect repellents, long-sleeved garments and emptying areas with collected standing water are a necessity.

8- What are the Latest Research Paradigms of ZIKA Virus?

The latest research paradigms are continually validating the impacts of this virus on human health, which is now becoming a global concern. A developing worry that is as of now under scrutiny is a conceivable connection between maternal ZIKA infection contamination and newborn child microcephaly. Research pieces of evidence indicate the presence of the virus in the amniotic fluid of the babies suffering from microcephaly (small sized skull). Researchers are continually investigating the ways through which an infected pregnant woman can pass this virus to her newborn child. However, to date,  the virus does not transmit during breastfeeding.

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