Zika virus is yet another disease outbreak. This is a mosquito-borne disease. In 1947 a new virus was discovered by scientists in a rhesus monkey in the Zika forest of Uganda. Hence the name Zika Virus.
Zika virus is a flavivirus which is mosquito –borne. The mosquito belongs to Aedes genus, They are mainly the Aedes aegypti in the tropical regions. These mosquitoes are mainly seen during the early morning and late evenings. This genus is also responsible for, chikungunya, dengue and also yellow fever.
The symptoms are usually mild. They will be seen for 2 days to 7 days. Some of the symptoms will be mistaken for dengue or chikungunya. The symptoms most commonly seen are
· skin rashes,
· muscle pain
· joint pain,
This harmful virus is known to cause microcephaly. In addition to this Zika virus can also cause Guillain-Barré syndrome. Scientists are working on finding if Zika virus is responsible for neurological disorders too.
Methods of transmission
· Direct mosquito bites
· Sexual transmission
· Blood transfusion
· Exchange of body fluids
Also keep a record of travel history. If you have been to a Zika infected area, you need to meet your medical practitioner. It is advisable to refrain from sexual activities for at least 6 months if so. Pregnant women are at a great risk of contracting this virus which is in turn very dangerous to the fetus. The baby affected will be born with a relatively smaller head.
As of now, no vaccine has been discovered. Taking lots of fluids, availing adequate rest, using painkillers, taking medicines for fever, checking with your doctor regularly and refraining from social activities can help reduce the seriousness. It is advisable to visit the hospital if conditions worsen.
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