Zika Virus: Symptoms, Preventions, Treatment

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25 Feb, 2016

Zika virus was first identified in 1947 in Uganda when sylvatic yellow fever was monitored in rhesus monkeys. This virus is transmitted by a particular mosquito bite called Aedes. It has now again emerged as mosquito-borne virus and is quite similar to dengue virus. The outbreaks of this virus has been reported in America, Africa, the Pacific, and Asia.


1. Symptoms:

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The symptoms of Zika virus lasts for only 2 to 7 days. They includes muscle and joint pain, mild fever, conjunctivitis or red eyes, skin rashes, headache or malaise. Zika virus can be found for about a week in the blood of the people infected with it, but for some people it can be found for longer than a week.

2. Zika virus in Pregnancy:

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If a pregnant woman is infected with Zika virus, it is more likely that the virus spreads to her fetus, causing serious birth defects. Microcephaly is a brain defect being reported in newborns whose mothers got infected with Zika virus. Moreover, women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant should avoid travelling to areas with outbreaks of Zika virus.


3. Prevention:

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Zika virus can only be prevented by modifying or removing the breeding sites of mosquitoes, and by the reduction of humans-mosquitoes contact. Following are the ways to prevent Zika virus.

  1. Wear light colored clothes which should cover the body as much as possible.
  2. Increase the use of closed doors, window screens, and windows as physical barriers.
  3. Use mosquito nets to sleep especially during the daytime.
  4. Regularly clean, empty, or cover buckets or pots that store water.
  5. Remove or clean the breeding sites of mosquitoes such as used tyres, flower pots, roof gutters etc.
  6. Regularly use insect repellent.


4. Treatment:

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The specific treatment or vaccine of Zika virus has not been discovered yet. But if one notices the symptoms of Zika, he should follow the following things to treat its symptoms.

  1. Get more rest.
  2. Stay hydrated and drink lots of fluids.
  3. To relieve pain and fever, take medicine for example Tylenol® (acetaminophen).
  4. Avoid taking anti-inflammatory non-steroidal drugs such as aspirin.
  5. If you have to take other medicines for your other health problems, consult your doctor before taking them.

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Zika Virus: Symptoms, Preventions, Treatment
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