Zika Virus

Why in News?

Few Zika Virus Infection cases have been reported in one of the states in the Republic of INDIA and that is Kerala. As of now today in Kerala 15th Zika Virus Infectious cases have been reported. Due to that all the Border sharing states of Kerala are on high alert and issued Guidelines for attention, precaution, and  Prevention.

What is Zika Virus?

Zika virus is a kind of virus which is Mosquito-Borne flavivirus that was 1st identified in Uganda in 1947 in monkeys. It was later identified in Humans in 1952 in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.

Zika Virus is primarily transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito from the Aedes genus.

Aedes Mosquitoes usually bite during the day, Peaking during early morning and late afternoon/evening. This is the same mosquito that transmits Dengue, Chikungunya, and Yellow Fever.

Symptoms and Signs of Zika Virus Disease :

The exposure to symptom period of the Zika Virus infection is normally 3- 14 Days. Majority of the Zika Virus infected people don’t develop any symptoms.

Symptoms are generally Mild Fever, Rash, Conjunctivitis, Muscle and Joint Pain, Malaise, and Headache and usually, it lasts in 2- 7 days.

  • Zika Virus usually causes Mild illness. This symptom appears a few days after a person is bitten by an infected Mosquito.
  • Most Zika Virus infected people will get a slight Fever and Rash.
  • Others may also get Conjunctivitis (An eye disease that causes pain and swelling in the part of the eye, and that can be passed from one person to another)
  • Muscle and Joint Pain, Headache and Feeling tired, is also the Symptom of Zika Virus infection.
Key facts That we should know:
  • Zika Virus disease is caused by viruses transmitted primarily by Aedes Mosquitoes bite, Which bites during the day.
  • Symptoms are generally Mild Fever, Rash, Conjunctivitis, Muscle and Joint Pain, Malaise, and Headache and usually, it lasts in 2- 7 days.
  • Zika Virus Infection can be passed from a Pregnant Woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can be a cause of certain birth defects, Known as congenital Zika Syndrome.
  • Infection with Zika virus is also associated with other complications of pregnancy including preterm birth and miscarriage.
  • Zika Virus transmission can happen through SEX from a Parson who has Zika to Her sex partners.
  • During Intercourse Condom can reduce the Venerability to transmit the Zika Infection from sex.
  • No Vaccine is available till now
Complications of Zika Virus Disease :

Zika Virus infection during pregnancy can cause microcephaly and other congenital abnormalities in developing fetuses and newborns.

Zika infection in pregnancy also results in pregnancy complications such as Fetal loss, Stillbirth, and Preterm  Birth.

Zika Virus infection is also a trigger of Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Neuropathy, and Myelitis, particularly in adults and older children.

  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome is also called GBS. It is a condition in which the immune system attacks the nerves. GBS is a rare Neurological Disorder in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks parts of its peripheral nervous system—the network of nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord. The condition may be triggered by an acute bacterial or Viral infection.

Symptoms  :

    • GBS symptoms start as Weakness and tingling in the feet and legs that spread to the Upper Body. Paralysis can occur.
    • People also may experience muscle weakness, abnormality walking, Problems with coordination, or weakness of the arms and legs.
    • Figure Or High Blood Pressure
    • Abnormal heart rhythm or Fast Heart rate
    • Also, Common symptoms are Difficulty raising the Foot, Difficulty speaking, Difficulty swallowing, Facial muscle weakness, shortness of breath, uncomfortable tingling and burning, Or urinary retention.


    • Special Blood treatments (Plasma Exchange and Immunoglobulin therapy) can relieve symptoms. Physiotherapy is required.
Transmission: How is the Zika Virus Transmitted?

Primarily Zika Virus is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito from the Aedes genus.

  • Aedes Mosquitoes usually bite during the day, Peaking during early morning and late afternoon/evening. These are the same mosquitoes that transmit Dengue, Chikungunya, and Yellow fever.
  • Zika Virus is also transmitted to infected mothers to her Fetus during pregnancy.
  • Zika Virus transmission happens through sexual contact.
  • Zika Virus transmission happens during the Transfusion of Blood and Blood products and Organ Transplantation.

Diagnosis: How to Diagnose Zika Virus Infection?

  • Zika Virus Infection may be suspected based on symptoms of persons Living in or visiting areas with Zika Virus transmission.
  • Zika Virus Infection can be confirmed Only by Diagnosis the Blood tests Or Other Body Fluids such as Urine or Semen tests in Laboratory
Treatment: What are the treatment Available for Zika Virus Infection?
  • There is no treatment available for Zika Virus infection or its Associated Diseases.
  • Symptoms of Zika Virus infection are Usually Mild. People who have symptoms like Fever, Rash, Headache, or arthralgia (Pain In a joint) Should get Plenty of Rest, Drink Fluids, and treat pain and fever with common medicine.
  • If the symptoms get worsen, then should seek medical care and advice.
  • Pregnant women living in areas with Zika Transmission OR who develop symptoms of Zika virus infection should seek medical attention for laboratory tests and other clinical tests.
Prevention: How to prevent Zika virus transmission?
  • Mosquito Bites
    • Protection against mosquito bites during the day and early evening is a key measure to prevent Zika virus infection.
    • Special attention should be given to prevent mosquito bites among pregnant women, Women of Reproductive Age, and Young children.
    • Personal protection measures incudes Wearing clothes to cover as much of the body as possible.
    • Using Physical barriers such as Closed doors and Windows and applying insect repellent.
    • Young children and pregnant women should sleep under a mosquito net if sleeping during the day and early evening.
    • Aedes Mosquito breeds in a small collection of water around homes, schools, worksites, etc. It is important to eliminate these mosquitoes’ breeding sites. Cover the water storage tank, Containers and removing standing water spots.
  • Transmission in Pregnancy :
    • Zika Virus can be transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy, resulting in microcephaly (Smaller than normal head size) and other congenital malformation in the infant, Collectively referred to as Congenital Zika Syndrome.
    • Microcephaly is caused by abnormal brain development or Loss of brain tissue.
    • Congenital Zika Syndrome includes other malformations like limb contractures, High Muscle tone, Eye Abnormalities, and hearing loss.
  • Sexual Transmission :
    • Zika Virus can be transmitted through sexual intercourse.
    • WHO recommends the sexually active men and women be correctly counseled and offered a full range of contraceptive methods to prevent pregnancy and fetal outcomes.
    • Women who have had unprotected sex and do not wish to become pregnant due to concern about Zika virus infection should have ready access to emergency contraceptive services and counseling.
    • For anyone who is returning from areas of active Zika virus transmission, WHO recommends for those to practicing safer sex or abstinence for a period of six months for men and two months for women to prevent infection to their sex partners.

You can also read:

Reference: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/zika-virus


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