World has seen various health concerns in recent past. Whole
world has faced the problem of Ebola last year started from some African
countries. This year humanities faced similar problem with another virus named
Zika. Zika virus is an emerging mosquito-borne virus that was first identified
in Uganda in 1947 in rhesus monkeys through a monitoring network of sylvatic
yellow fever. This year it is mostly present in Latin American and South
American countries. People with Zika virus disease usually have symptoms that
can include mild fever. It is believed to be the reason for the stunted growth
of the foetus. In case pregnant lady is affected by Zika virus child is found to
be peculiar disease named as microcephaly. In this child has short and distorted
head. Zika virus disease is caused by a virus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes.
People with Zika virus disease usually have symptoms that can
include mild fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise
or headache. These symptoms normally last for 2-7 days. There is no specific
treatment or vaccine currently available. The best form of prevention is
protection against mosquito bites. The virus is known to circulate in Africa,
the Americas, Asia and the Pacific. Zika virus is an emerging mosquito-borne
virus that was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in rhesus monkeys through a
monitoring network of sylvatic yellow fever. It was subsequently identified in
humans in 1952 in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania. Outbreaks of Zika
virus disease have been recorded in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.
The incubation period (the time from exposure to symptoms) of
Zika virus disease is not clear, but is likely to be a few days. The symptoms
are similar to other arbovirus infections such as dengue, and include fever,
skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise, and headache. These
symptoms are usually mild and last for 2-7 days. Recently in Brazil, local
health authorities have observed an increase in babies born with microcephaly in
northeast Brazil. Agencies investigating the Zika outbreaks are finding an
increasing body of evidence about the link between Zika virus and microcephaly.
Zika virus is transmitted to people through the bite of an
infected mosquito from the Aedes genus, mainly Aedes aegypti in tropical
regions. This is the same mosquito that transmits dengue, chikungunya and yellow
fever. However, sexual transmission of Zika virus has been described in 2 cases,
and the presence of the Zika virus in semen in 1 additional case. Infection with
Zika virus may be suspected based on symptoms and recent history (e.g. residence
or travel to an area where Zika virus is known to be present). Zika virus
diagnosis can only be confirmed by laboratory testing for the presence of Zika
virus RNA in the blood or other body fluids, such as urine or saliva.
Best cure for the Zika disease is its prevention. Ways through which it can
be prevented includes;
- Prevention and control relies on reducing mosquitoes through source
reduction (removal and modification of breeding sites)
- Reducing contact between mosquitoes and people.
- Use insect repellent regularly;
- wear clothes (preferably light-coloured) that cover as much of the body
- use physical barriers such as window screens, closed doors and windows.
It is also extremely important to empty, clean or cover
containers regularly that can store water, such as buckets, drums, pots etc.
Other mosquito breeding sites should be cleaned or removed including flower
pots, used tyres and roof gutters. Communities must support the efforts of the
local government to reduce the density of mosquitoes in their locality.
Repellents should contain DEET (N,
N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide), IR3535 (3-[N-acetyl-N-butyl]-aminopropionic acid
ethyl ester) or icaridin (1-piperidinecarboxylic acid,
2-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-methylpropylester). Product label instructions should be
strictly followed. Special attention and help should be given to those who may
not be able to protect themselves adequately, such as young children, the sick
or elderly. Travellers should take the basic precautions described above to
protect themselves from mosquito bites.
There is no specific treatment provided for the Zika fever. There is
currently no vaccine available. However World Health organisation recommends
- People sick with Zika virus should get plenty of rest, drink enough
- treat pain and fever with common medicines;
- If symptoms worsen, they should seek medical care and advice.