Detailed Information About Zika virus

Zika is a mosquito borne viral disease which causes a condition associated with fever. It is very similar to dengue fever. It is caused by an arbovirus of the flavivirus family, which causes disease like Dengue, West Nile fever and Japanese encephalitis.

The Zika virus

  • This virus was first isolated from a rhesus monkey in Uganda in 1947.
  • The virus is common in West and Central Africa but also occurs in Pakistan, India, Vietnam, Thailand, The Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
  • Zika is a disease of monkeys and humans and transmitted by mosquito (Aedes aegypti) bite.

Symptoms of Zika virus

The symptoms of the diseases occur after 4-7 days of mosquito bite. Some of the important symptoms include:-

  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Rash (which is specifically maculo-papular in variety)
  • Fever
  • Conjunctivitis (redness of eyes, watering of eyes, and difficult vision)
  • Joint pain (mainly joints of the hands and feet), difficulty in standing and sitting.
  • Diarrhoea
  • Have adverse effect on pregnant women or their babies.

It has adverse effect on pregnant females, and virus cause microcephaly which causes genetic defect affecting mental disease.

What is Microcephaly?

It is characterised by infants who have smaller heads. They have low intellectual ability. These children don’t have well developed brains.

Other symptoms

  1. Difficulty in hearing.
  2. Difficulty in vision.

Treatment of Zika Virus

For treatment of Zika virus no specific medicine is available. The painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed foe the symptomatic relief.

Control of disease

  • No specific vaccine is available.
  • To control spread of disease careful monitoring of persons who are travelling from infected countries is required.
  • As aedes egypti mosquitoes lay eggs in man-made water tanks, buckets, tyres, machinery, pet water dishes and pot plant trays, so do not allow to collect water in these receptacles.
  • It is must to stop mosquito breading. The mosquito breeding sites should be destroyed.
  • Empty and apply surface spray to any old unused container that has held water. Store any containers upside down.
  • Avoid using plates under pot plants.
  • Empty bird baths and pet drinking water at least weekly.
  • Cover and completely seal septic tanks, rainwater tanks, or other large water storage containers.
  • Dispose of garbage around your home and park area may collect water. So avoid doing this.
  • Ensure roof gutters drain freely so that pools of water are not left at any low points. Throw a small amount of methoprene pellets on to the roof above problem gutters.
  • Fish ponds around you may help to control breeding of mosquitoes.

How to protect from mosquito bites

  1. Wear loose, light coloured protective clothing in outdoor situation, covering feet, legs and arms.
  2. Use repellent such as odomos.
  3. Avoid scents on the body, such as perfume, deodorants and sweat, since these can attract mosquitoes.
  4. Avoid being outdoors between dusk and dawn to avoid mosquito bites, particularly in poorly lit areas, rural areas, or the outskirts of large towns.

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