The news of Zika infected people being discovered in Ahmedabad shocked the city, and created a very frenzied environment, making it imperative for people to know as much as possible about the Zika virus, and spread awareness.
What is zika virus ?
Zika virus is part of the virus type Flaviviridae, and the virus acquired its name “Zika Virus” because it was first discovered in the Zika forest of Uganda. Aedes mosquitoes and similar family types are the day time active mosquitoes, which spread this virus.
Is Zika virus infectious ?
Yes it is, and one can be infected if in contact with urine, and all other body fluids including but not limited to saliva, semen, tears of the eyes. It can be contracted through sex and therefore many times people who have not travelled to Zika affected areas still get infected, because their partners may have travelled to or got affected with Zika. There is a rather alarming real life example given by “Webmd” in which a person got infected while treating a patient having Zika virus, through the sweat and tears of the patient.
Also a virus can spread to fetus if a pregnant woman is infected.
Symptoms of Zika Virus
Some of the symptoms are Mild to high fever, pain in the joints, red or pink eyes. Accordinng to Dr Ajalja, spokesman for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. (Source: Webmd.com), the symptoms are conspicuous in only 1 out of 5 people. Rest will not show any symptoms and most of the times are also not aware about their infection. The symptoms lasts from 1 week to about 14 days approximately.
Note: If a pregnant woman is suffering from any of these symptoms, she should immediately visit a doctor and should be tested for Zika.
Connection between Zika and Pregnancy
In a Zika infected pregnant woman, fetus is highly prone to infection and babies can suffer from Microcephaly, in which baby’s head is inhibited, resulting into brain damage and sometimes miscarriage or stillbirth.
How is Zika treated ?
There is no particular treatment, but according to doctors, it can be treated with over the counter medicines for aches and pains. Patients should take lot of rest, drink plenty of fluids. Note: Do not take medication without doctor’s supervision, as some anti inflammatory drugs can be risky until the chances of dengue is ruled out.
How is Zika virus tested ?
Zika virus is tested by looking for either viruses genetic code in people with active infections or by looking at the antibodies produced by the body. For detailed info following link will help http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/zika-virus-symptoms-prevention?page=6#1
How can you prevent Zika virus ?
- Avoid mosquito bites at all costs, if you are travelling to affected regions or are staying in affected regions
The CDC recommends using Environmental Protection Agency-registered insect repellents with DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (para-menthane-diol) or 2-undecanone. If you’re using sunscreen, apply that first and repellent second.
- The mosquitoes are daytime mosquitoes mostly staying indoors, and therefore cover your body adequately
- Put proper nets on the doors and windows to restrict the entry of mosquitoes inside the house.
- Get rid of still or standing water, like water pits, flower pots with water, accumulated water inside or outside of the house, as mosquitoes lay eggs at these places.
- Abstaining from sex for sometime (8 weeks for women, and 6 months for men) to avoid sexual transmission.