Zika is a disease which you probably have never heard of, What is Zika Virus? Why does it matter? What is it’s origin? What are its symptoms? These are some questions which are nowadays headlines of every media outlet.
Zika Virus was first isolated from a monkey in Uganda in 1947 (Specifically in Uganda Zika forest). In the 1950s, in Nigeria, The first case of human infection was identified. Since then Zika has been mute up into the 21st century with limited outbreaks occurring throughout the world, particularly in the Pacific islands. An evidence of Zika infection either from a patient with the conical illness or with severe exposure were found in dozens of countries on five continents.
The Ministry of Health passed the concern that the virus may be the cause for the dramatic increase in the incidence of Microcephaly, a severe congenital disability in which the size of the skull and the brain inside is much smaller than normal.
Zika is the member of flaviviruses genes of the virus. These genes also include Dengue, West Nile, and Yellow fever. Zika shares with a virus the ability to transmitted humans through the bites of infected mosquitoes.
Zika Virus in India: Is India ready to battle against this rapidly spreading virus
India is not isolated from the outside world, and there are chances that Zika Virus could enter in India. No cases of infection from Zika Virus in India have been reported, but according to the experts sooner or later the chances of coming Zika Virus in India are high.
Zika Virus Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
In addition to their insect connection, it shares many other similarities, like many people who exposed to the virus doesn’t get symptoms at all, when symptoms do occur they come several weeks after exposure.
Zika Virus Symptoms typically includes some combination of Fever, Headache, Rash, Arthralgia (i.e., sore joints), Conjunctivitis, Abdominal Pain, and Malaise. Those with minor Zika Virus Symptoms recover after several days, those with severe symptoms may take several weeks to recover
Should you be worried?
Unless you are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant Zika Virus is not considered particularly harmful. In fact, only 1 in five people who have it show any symptoms, those who do will often have the high fever, rash, headache, and red-itchy-eyes.
Zika virus is a serious concern for pregnant women’s because at the same time we’ve seen the number of Zika cases shooting up we’ve also seen a sharp rise in the number of Microcephaly cases. It is a condition where babies are born with small heads and underdeveloped brains
How does it spread?
Zika Virus is mainly passed on through the ‘AEDES’ Mosquito, the same insect that spreads dengue and yellow fever.
Is Zika a newly discovered Virus?
Zika has been around for a while it was discovered in Uganda in 1947 in monkeys, but there haven’t been many human outbreaks, so we don’t know very much about it, this time though more than 20 countries have been affected, mostly in Latin America. Some experts say that Zika is likely to spread to other nations in Asia and Africa where AEDES mosquitoes live.
Is there any cure available?
There is currently no vaccine or cure available for prevention against Zika Virus. The best way to protect yourself if you in an affected area is to use insect repellent, cover-up, and clear stagnant water from near your home to stop mosquitoes breeding.
Some of the worst affected countries have even advised women’s to avoid getting pregnant for the next couple of years. Small Continent like Europe has been widely affected, countries like the USA, Brazil are battling with Zika Virus, and the virus is rapidly spreading in the slum areas of Brazil & other parts of the world, and several cases of the virus have reported. Broadly there are more than 20 countries where Zika Virus has spread.
Around 4000 suspected cases of microcephaly have been reported in Brazil since October compared to 140 cases in all to 2014.
Various campaigns launched to educated people on how to prevent mosquito breeding in their homes. Brazil is trying the epidemic under control before the country hosts the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in August.