Zika Virus : Causes, Prevention, Symptoms And Treatment339
When they bite during the day, mosquitoes transmit the Zika virus. These mosquitoes are mostly found in tropical and subtropical regions of the world.
For the vast majority of people, Zika virus symptoms are mild and have no negative effects. Some people have muscular discomfort, fever, and rashes.
Zika virus can cause severe cases of nervous system syndromes like Guillain-Barre syndrome. The brain and nervous system may suffer severe harm as a result of this. Other names for the Zika virus include Zika, Zika fever, and Zika virus disease.
Pregnant women can face complications if they contract the virus. Symptoms can be mild or difficult to diagnose, yet, for pregnant women, the Zika Virus can be dangerous and lead to an increased risk of miscarriage. For a pregnant woman with this disease, it increases the risk of dangerous birth defects and potentially fatal brain conditions for the baby.
Currently, scientists are working on a vaccine. The best way to protect against the Zika Virus is to avoid mosquito bites and reduce the number of mosquito habitats.
Causes Of Zika Virus
The bite of a mosquito carrying the Zika virus causes transmission. According to research, the illness is carried by mosquitoes of the Aedes species. Though they may be found anywhere in the world, they are more prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions.
If a person is infected, mosquitoes can spread the illness to another person by biting that person. Through the bite, the virus enters the victim's circulation and spreads infection.
How to check if you have Zika Virus?
Through the bite of an infected mosquito, the Zika virus is spread.
It is found in the following places:
- Central and South America
- Atlantic Ocean
- Africa, Asia, and the Pacific Islands
Zika virus can be transmitted from a pregnant woman to her unborn child, via sexual contact, and through blood transfusion. Additionally, organ donation can spread it too. Infected areas have a very high chance of spreading the illness. You may catch the illness if you reside in an area where there are known occurrences of the Zika virus or if you exhibit the symptoms.
Risk factors Of Zika Virus
These factors need to be considered to minimise the risk of catching the Zika Virus:
- If you are travelling or living in an infected area, city, place or country.
High-risk areas such as Pacific Islands, America, Asia and West Africa can lead to a risk of exposure. As the infected species of mosquito are found worldwide, there is potential for new outbreaks in different regions. Please consult the official website of a country for updates and information before planning on travelling to these locations.
- Having unprotected sex.
Having unprotected sex can increase the risk of Zika virus infection for up to 3 months after travel. If one partner has travelled to an infected area, to avoid any risk, it is recommended to use protection for up to 3 months after travelling to a high-risk area.
Zika Virus Symptoms
Lab testing on blood and other fluids can be used to diagnose the Zika Virus.
The majority of those who have the virus do not show any symptoms. Eighty per cent of Zika virus patients show no symptoms at all. If you do experience symptoms, they will likely be minor and may last up to two weeks. Most people recover fully.
The symptoms to watch out for are as follows:
- High temperature
- Red, swollen eyes
- Painful joints and muscles that are swollen
- A rash on the skin and itching all over the body.
- Joint discomfort
- Discomfort in the eyes
- Abdominal pain
If you or a family member think you may have the Zika virus, please consult a medical professional.
If you have travelled recently to an area where there is an outbreak and if you are pregnant, please seek medical advice even if you have no symptoms.
Prevention Of Zika Virus
You can take the following actions to lessen your chance of catching the virus:
- Make meticulous travel plans. It is strongly advised that pregnant women get medical advice before visiting a region where the Zika Virus is on the rise.
- Practise safe sex. It is recommended to use protection if your partner has visited a location where an epidemic is occurring.
- Remain at an air-conditioned hotel. Utilising air-conditioned lodging will lower your chance of receiving an infected mosquito bite if you are visiting a region where there is a high danger of such bites.
- Put on safety gear. Please wear full sleeves, complete trousers, shoes, and socks while visiting an area where mosquitoes are present to prevent getting bitten.
- Apply repellant on the skin. Permethrin can be applied to your clothing, shoes, camping equipment, and bedding. Please protect your skin from mosquito bites by using a repellent that has been clinically shown to work.
- Cut down on mosquito nests. Near areas with standing water, like pots and pans, infected mosquitoes are common. They enjoy breeding as well. Eliminate all sources of standing water to help reduce mosquito populations.
What Are The Treatments Of Zika Virus?
There is no designated treatment for Zika Virus. Most symptoms are generally mild. If your symptoms worsen, then please seek medical assistance.
If you have Zika Virus symptoms, then please do the following:
- Take plenty of rest
- Keep hydrated
- Take pain relief.
Please seek medical advice if your symptoms worsen.
Complications of Zika Virus
Infection with the Zika virus when pregnant can be dangerous to the unborn child. It raises the possibility that a woman will miscarry, give birth prematurely, or have a stillbirth. Microcephaly and other abnormalities may result from it.
Guillain-Barre syndrome, a devastating disorder that damages the neurological system, is also brought on by this virus. This significant nerve disorder has an adverse effect. It might endanger your life and have long-lasting consequences.
Zika Virus can lead to the following conditions in fetal babies:
- Partially collapsed skull
- Brain damage and reduced brain tissue
- Eye damage
- Joint problems
- Reduced body movement.
If you are pregnant and at risk of getting the Zika Virus, please access medical help immediately.
For further information, please access the following resources:
Page last reviewed: Mar 20, 2023
Next review due: Mar 20, 2025