Should you be scared of the new Zika virus reports?

Pandemic Jul 24, 2021

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Flaviviruses such as Zika are spread by mosquitoes and were first discovered in monkeys in Uganda in 1947. In 1952, the first human cases of the virus were discovered in Uganda and Tanzania.

It has been reported that the Zika virus disease has spread throughout Africa, Asia, America, and the Pacific. A Zika outbreak was discovered in Gujarat, India's western state, in 2016-17. Many cases of the Zika virus have recently been reported in Kerala. A pregnant woman, aged 24, was one of the first to contract the virus. The treatment was conducted in Thiruvananthapuram city on July 8.

Following that, the Kerala government took further steps and sent samples from 19 more suspects to a Pune laboratory. A total of 13 of them tested positive for Zika. There has been a link between mosquito-borne diseases and shrunken brains in children and Guillain-Barre syndrome, an auto-immune disease that affects the nerves.

Let us see what are the symptoms and how we can prevent this virus from spreading.

Symptoms

There are many similarities between dengue and this virus. There are typically 2–7 days of symptoms, which include a high fever, red spots on the skin, joint pain, redness in the eyes, and headache. A Zika virus infection's incubation period is believed to be 3–14 days from exposure to onset of symptoms.

Transmission

Tropical and subtropical regions are the principal transmitting regions of the Zika virus, because mosquitoes from the Aedes genus, primarily Aedes aegypti, carry the virus. Usually, Aedes mosquito bites in the early mornings and late afternoons/evenings.

Aedes mosquitoes transmit all types of mosquito-borne diseases, like dengue, yellow fever, and chikungunya. An increased risk of Zika virus infection exists among pregnant women. This virus, when it reaches the baby in the mother’s womb, results in microcephaly (smaller head size in babies).

Sexual contact, blood product transfusions, and organ transplants are all ways in which the virus can be spread.

Prevention

  1. A key measure for preventing Zika virus infection is to protect against mosquito bites during the day and early evening.
  2. Cover your body with light-colored clothing.
  3. Close doors and windows, and use window screens as physical barriers.
  4. When sleeping during the day or early evening, pregnant women and young children should use mosquito nets.
  5. Travelers and residents in impacted areas should follow the same basic procedures outlined above.
  6. Mosquitoes of the Aedes genus breed in small pools of water near houses, schools, and workplaces. It's critical to get rid of these mosquito breeding areas.
  7. To limit mosquito populations and illness spread, health officials may recommend the use of larvicides and pesticides.

There is no medicine yet to control the Zika virus. The cure has been researched by 18 drug companies worldwide since March 2016. There is no cure for this infection, which makes it more dangerous.

This article has been written by Omer Khan for The Paradigm

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