What is Zika virus? The recent outbreak of Zika virus is creating panic among public in various countries. Zika virus infection spreads through the mosquito bite. “Aedes mosquito” is the one that spreads this virus. As of now, there is no strong evidence of Zika virus infection can cause death. However, continuous or repeated infections of this virus has reported serious complications.
What are the Symptoms of Zika Virus?
- It is identified that 1 out of 5 people infected with Zika virus develops illness
- Most of the symptoms are similar to dengue and chikungunya. Affected person will have fever, rash, joint pain, or redness of eyes. The infected person may also have headache and muscle pain.
- The symptoms of Zika virus will not be shown immediately. Only after a few days to a week the symptoms will be exposed.
- Initially the fever will be mild that lasts for several days to week
- Usually, Zika virus will stay in the infected persons’ blood for about 2-7 days. In some cases in may stay for a longer period
- It is very unusual that Zika affected person needs hospitalization.
- Reports of death due to Zika virus infection is very rare.
Clinical Tests to Find Zika Virus Infection
- As Zika virus infection is similar to those of dengue and chikungunya, tests are same as well.
- If mild fever persists for few days or more, it is advisable to visit a clinic.
- If you have travelled recently to a Zika virus affected region, consult a doctor to make sure you are infection free.
- A blood test might require to make sure your symptoms are of Zika virus infection.
What are the Treatments for Zika Virus Infection?
- No vaccine or medicines available exclusively for Zika virus infection.
- Take sufficient rest and drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration (loss of water from body).
- Take medicines to relieve fever and pain.
- Do not take NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) such as aspirin, like ibuprofen and naproxen. This should be avoided when you are affected with Zika virus or dengue. Taking these medications while infected with these viruses may lead to risk of hemorrhage (bleeding).
- Prevent yourself from mosquito bites when you are infected with Zika virus.
Don’t panic by the alerts of Zika virus infection. Instead, learn about it thoroughly and stay yourself safe. An infected mosquito of Zika can spread the disease to others. It is the same type of mosquito that spreads dengue or chikungunya. Prevention involves reducing mosquito occurrences in your area and avoiding bites. These mosquitoes that spread Zika virus are found mainly during the day.
Pregnant women must take extra care like covering exposed skin, using recommended mosquito repellents, sleeping under mosquito nets, etc. Educate others too on what is Zika virus and be prevented.