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Is Zika virus contagious?
27 Jan' 21

Is Zika virus contagious?

 

 

The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that was first discovered in monkeys in Uganda in 1947. It was originally detected in humans in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania in 1952.In Africa, the Americas, Asia, and the Pacific, Zika virus outbreaks have been reported. Rare occasional incidences of human infections were found across Africa and Asia from the 1960s to the 1980s, usually accompanied by moderate sickness.On the island of Yap, the first Zika virus sickness outbreak was observed in 2007. (Federated States of Micronesia).

Symptoms and signs:

The incubation period for Zika virus disease is estimated to be 3–14 days from the moment of exposure to the onset of symptoms. The majority of Zika virus-infected patients do not show any symptoms. Fever, rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint discomfort, malaise, and headache are the most common symptoms, and they usually last 2–7 days.

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Consequences of Zika Virus Infection:

Microcephaly and other congenital abnormalities in the developing fetus and newborn are caused by Zika virus infection during pregnancy. Pregnancy problems such as fetal loss, stillbirth, and preterm birth can all result from Zika infection during pregnancy. Infection with the Zika virus can cause Guillain-Barré syndrome, neuropathy, and myelitis, especially in adults and older children. The implications of Zika virus infection on pregnancy outcomes, prevention, and control techniques, and the consequences of infection on various neurological problems in children and adults are all being studied.  

Transmission: 

The Zika virus is mostly transmitted in tropical and subtropical climates by the bite of an infected mosquito of the Aedes genus, most often Aedes aegypti. Aedes mosquitos bite all day, with peak bite times in the early morning and late afternoon/evening. The same mosquito spreads dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever. 

The Zika virus can also be passed from mother to fetus during pregnancy, via sexual contact, blood and blood products transfusions, and organ donation.

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Diagnosis:

Symptoms of Zika virus infection may be suspected in people who live in or visit places where Zika virus transmission and/or Aedes mosquito vectors are present. Only laboratory testing of blood or other bodily fluids, such as urine or sperm, can establish a diagnosis of Zika virus infection.

Treatment: 

Infection with the Zika virus or the disorders it causes has no therapy. In most cases, the Zika virus causes only minimal symptoms. People who have symptoms like fever, rash, or arthralgia should relax, drink plenty of fluids, and manage pain and fever with over-the-counter medications. They should seek medical help and advice if their symptoms worsen.Pregnant women who live in Zika-infected areas or who experience Zika-related symptoms should seek medical attention for laboratory tests and other clinical care.

 

Prevention:

 

Bite of a mosquito: 

A critical approach to prevent Zika virus infection is to avoid mosquito bites during the day and early evening. Mosquito bite prevention should be given special attention to pregnant women, women of reproductive age, and young children. 

Wearing clothing (preferably light-colored) that covers as much of the body as possible; using physical barriers such as window screens and closed doors and windows; and applying insect repellent containing DEET, IR3535, or icaridin to skin or clothing according to product label instructions are all examples of personal protection measures.

If sleeping during the day or early evening, young children and pregnant women should sleep under mosquito nets. To protect themselves from mosquito bites, travelers and residents in impacted areas should follow the same basic procedures outlined above.

Mosquitoes of the Aedes genus breed in small pools of water near houses, schools, and workplaces. Covering water storage containers, removing standing water in flower pots, and clearing up trash and used tyres are all crucial mosquito breeding grounds to eliminate. To eliminate mosquito breeding areas, community activities are critical to support local government and public health programs. To limit mosquito populations and illness spread, health officials may recommend the use of larvicides and pesticides.

Pregnancy transmission:

The Zika virus can be passed from mother to fetus during pregnancy, causing microcephaly (a smaller-than-normal head size) and other congenital deformities in the baby, which is known as congenital Zika syndrome.

Microcephaly is caused by a lack of brain tissue or improper brain growth. The severity of the brain damage has an impact on the child's outcome.Other deformities associated with congenital Zika syndrome include limb contractures, excessive muscle tone, ocular problems, and hearing loss. The incidence of congenital abnormalities after Zika virus infection during pregnancy is uncertain; an estimated 5–15 percent of infants born to women who were infected with Zika virus during pregnancy had Zika-related problems. Both acute and asymptomatic infections can lead to congenital abnormalities.

Transmission of sexually transmitted diseases:  

The Zika virus can be spread through sexual contact. This is concerning because Zika virus infection has been linked to poor pregnancy and fetal outcomes.  All people with Zika virus infection and their sexual partners (especially pregnant women) should be informed about the dangers of Zika virus sexual transmission in areas where the virus is present.Sexually active men and women should be properly counseled and offered a broad range of contraceptive techniques by the WHO to make an informed decision about whether and when to become pregnant and avoid potentially harmful pregnancy and fetal outcomes.Women who have had unprotected intercourse and do not want to become pregnant due to fears of Zika virus infection should be able to get emergency contraception and counseling quickly. Pregnant women should either practice safer sex (including the use of condoms correctly and consistently) or abstain.

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