The Zika fever is caused by the virus, present in the saliva of an infected mosquito Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus.
Infection occurs when an infected mosquito of Aedes species bites a person. The virus present in its saliva enters into the human skin and infects epidermal cells. Then it inoculates in the lymph nodes and bloodstream. Other Flaviviruses replicate in the cytoplasm while Zika is found in the infected cell nuclei.
Primary Symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain, and Conjunctivitis (red eyes).Other symptoms of Zika are muscle pain and headache. Symptoms can last for several days to a week. People very rarely die of Zika.
For Diagnosis the blood and urine will be tested for Zika or similar viruses.
The Transmission occurs through:
1) Mosquito bites.
2) A pregnant infected woman can pass Zika to her fetus during pregnancy or at the time of delivery.
3) A person infected with Zika can pass it to his/her sex partner. During 2015 outbreak, sexual transmission has been reported in six countries. After infection, the virus can be found in the semen of a man for 2-10 weeks. Whether women can transmit the virus or not is unknown yet.
4) Through Blood transfusion . In April 2016 two cases from Brazil are reported of Zika transmission through blood.
5) Travelers who go to places with Zika can be infected with Zika.
Associated Risks: Zika infection during pregnancy can cause microcephaly , defects of the eye, hearing defects, and impaired growth.
Guillain-Barré syndrome,(an uncommon sickness of the nervous system) is documented in the areas affected by Zika.
Treatment: There is no vaccine to prevent Zika. The best way is to prevent the disease from spreading. The other things which may prove helpful are
Get plenty of rest.
Prevent the dehydration by taking fluids as much as you can.
To reduce fever and pain you can take medicines such as acetaminophen.
Never take aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, consult your doctor before taking additional medication.
- From Mosquito bites :Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants and sleep under a mosquito bed, try to stay in places with air conditioning or window and door screens, remove standing water around your home.
- Pregnant women should not travel to the area infected with Zika.
Prevent sexual transmission of Zika by using condoms or not having sex.
People who have traveled to or are living in the places with Zika should protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites and sexual transmission of Zika. Refer the travel notices issued by CDC.