Zika virus disease is caused when a female Aedes Aegypti mosquito carrying the virus bites a person. The existence of the virus has been known to us since 1947 when it was discovered. It was considered harmful because of its unnoticeable symptoms such as curable flu, joint aches and skin rashes that last for between 2-7 days. However, with its attack on Brazil in September 2015, it is found that Zika virus can cause a range of health issues from impaired vision to hearing loss. Hence, it is necessary for us to learn everything about the virus.
Signs and Symptoms Of Zika Virus
- Conjunctivitis (red eyes)
- Gastrointestinal problems with vomiting
- Joint pains
- Muscle aches
- Skin rashes
Complications Associated with Zika Virus Disease
Complications associated with Zika virus are rare, but can be life-threatening. Neurological problems can occur with Zika virus; for example, Guillain-Barre Syndrome. The virus can also cause microcephaly. Recent studies also suggest that certain eye abnormalities can also occur in the infected people.
[Microcephaly is a birth defect in which the baby born with abnormally smaller head; a condition associated with incomplete brain development]
Transmission of Zika Virus
Zika virus is transmitted through the bite of a female mosquito, Aedes Aegypti. It is the same mosquito that transmits yellow fever and dengue. Recent studies suggest that it can also transmit through sexual activity.
Prevention of Zika Virus
Prevention of zika virus infection is possible by preventing mosquito bites. Few things that you can do to prevent mosquito bites are:
- Limit your exposure to mosquitoes by avoiding outdoor activities when they’re most active.
- Use insect repellents
- Treat clothing and outdoor gear with permethrin or any other insecticide for additional prevention.
- Use protective clothing and gear such as long sleeves, socks and closed-toe shoes.
- Eliminate standing water where mosquitoes can breed.