Zika Virus Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Zika Virus

What is Zika Virus?

Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus). These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. Zika virus disease is mainly spread by mosquitoes. For most people it is a very mild infection and isn’t harmful.However, it may be more serious for pregnant women, as there’s evidence it causes birth defects  such as, abnormally small heads (microcephaly).Zika can be passed from a pregnant women to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.

Causes of Zika Virus

Zika virus is primarily transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito from the Aedes genus, mainly Aedes aegypti in tropical regions. 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. Sexual transmission of Zika virus is also possible. Other modes of transmission such as blood transfusion are being investigated.

Symptoms of Zika Virus

Most people don’t have any symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they are usually mild and last around two to seven days. Commonly reported symptoms include:

  • Rash
  • Itching all over the body
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Joint pain (with possible swelling, mainly in the smaller joints of the hands and feet)
  • Muscle pain
  • Conjunctivitis (red eyes)
  • Lower back pain
  • Pain behind the eyes

Diagnosis of Zika Virus

A blood or urine test can confirm a Zika infection.
Sexual Transmission and Testing

  • CDC recommends Zika virus testing for people who may have been exposed to Zika through sex if they also have Zika symptoms. Possible exposure to Zika virus from sex includes sex (oral, vaginal, or anal sex or the sharing of sex toys) without a condom with a partner who traveled to or lives in an area with Zika.
  • A pregnant woman with possible exposure to Zika virus from sex should be tested even if she does not have symptoms.
  • A blood or urine test can confirm Zika infection from sexual transmission; however, testing blood, semen, vaginal fluids, or urine is not recommended to determine how likely a person is to pass Zika virus through sex.

Treatment of Zika Virus

Zika virus disease is usually mild and requires no specific treatment. People sick with Zika virus should

  • Plenty of rest
  • Drink enough fluids
  • Treat pain and fever with common medicines.

By : Natural Health News


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