Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.
Where has Zika virus been found?
- Prior to 2015, Zika virus outbreaks have occurred in areas of Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands.
- In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infections in Brazil.
- Currently, outbreaks are occurring in many countries.
- Zika virus will continue to spread and it will be difficult to determine how the virus will spread over time.
- About 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus become ill (i.e., develop Zika).
- The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. The incubation period (the time from exposure to symptoms) for Zika virus disease is not known, but is likely to be a few days to a week.
- The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week.
- Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for a few days but it can be found longer in some people.
- Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.
- Deaths are rare.
How does Zika virus affect pregnant women and fetuses?
Pregnant women have the same risk as the rest of the population of being infected with Zika virus, which is transmitted by the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes. Many women may remain unaware they have the virus, as they may not develop any symptoms. Only one in four people infected with Zika develops symptoms, and in those with symptoms the illness is usually mild. Brain growth may decrease in fetus due viral infection to zika
· Microcephaly:- abnormal smallness of head.
In some Brazilian states where Zika virus has been circulating in recent months, there has been a marked increase in cases of newborns with microcephaly. According to a preliminary analysis of research carried out by Brazilian authorities, the greatest risk of microcephaly and malformations is associated with infection during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Should pregnant women travel to areas where Zika is circulating?
Before traveling, pregnant women should consult a doctor to get advice in this regard. The most important thing is to avoid mosquito bites to prevent infection with Zika, dengue or chikungunya. In this respect, pregnant women and women of reproductive age should follow the same recommendations as all travelers:
- Protect skin from exposure to mosquitoes by wearing long sleeves, long pants and hats
- Use mosquito repellent as indicated by health authorities and according to instructions on the label
- If you sleep during the day, protect yourself with insecticide-treated mosquito netting
- Identify and eliminate possible mosquito breeding sites.
- The symptoms of Zika are similar to those of dengue and chikungunya, diseases spread through the same mosquitoes that transmit Zika.
- See your healthcare provider if you develop the symptoms described above and have visited an area where Zika is found.
- If you have recently traveled, tell your healthcare provider when and where you traveled.
- Your healthcare provider may order blood tests to look for Zika or other similar viruses like dengue or chikungunya
- No vaccine or medications are available to prevent or treat Zika infections.
- Treat the symptoms:
- Get plenty of rest
- Drink fluids to prevent dehydration
- Take medicines, such as acetaminophen or paracetamol, to relieve fever and pain
- Do not take aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen and naproxen. Aspirin and NSAIDs should be avoided until dengue can be ruled out to reduce the risk of hemorrhage (bleeding). If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication.
- If you have Zika, avoid mosquito bites for the first week of your illness.
- During the first week of infection, Zika virus can be found in the blood and passed from an infected person to another mosquito through mosquito bites.
- An infected mosquito can then spread the virus to other people.
How to prevent zika virus infection?
Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. So Zika viral infection can be prevented by avoiding the mosquito bites.
Mosquito control methods:-
- Empty water from containers such as flower pots, birdbaths, pet water dishes, cans, gutters, tires and buckets regularly to disrupt the mosquito breeding cycle.
- Keep windows and door screens in good working order to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.
- If possible, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants while outdoors, consider staying indoors early in the morning and evening when mosquitoes are most active.
- Maintain your swimming pool to prevent mosquito breeding, and report abandoned pools to your
- Use mosquito netting over infants carriers when infants are outdoors.