Things We Should Know About the Zika Virus

Zika virus is a mosquito borne condition that is passed-on by the Aedes species of mosquito. Aedes species of mosquito are also accountable for the transmission of dengue and chikungunya viruses.2

These mosquitos bite their victim mainly in the day hours and can live in both indoor and outdoor surroundings.

The two identified species accountable for Zika transmission are the Aedes albopictus, which is well identified as the Asian Tiger mosquito, and the Aedes aegypti species.

Symptoms of Zika which are flu like generally pass within a week, however there is a possible link between Zika and birth abnormalities like as microcephaly i.e. babies born with an unusually small head.

From where did Zika virus spread?

The virus has been known to spread from Brazil. While the greater part of Zika virus incidences have taken place in tropical areas such as Brazil, Colombia, French Guiana, Venezuela, Suriname and Paraguay there is also a possibility of mosquito infection in tropical like conditions such as Houston and New Orleans in the United States.

Places inside the US which are of concern for possible Zika-infected mosquitos are those with wet lowlands, warmer temperature and greater levels of poverty.

Other nations with previous or current Zika virus infection consist of parts of Africa, Asia, the Americas, Oceania and the Pacific Islands. Infection in the United States is presently connected to exposure of travelers who come back from other nations.

Because of the fact that the species of mosquito that transmits Zika virus can be identified all over the world, CDC think it is probably that outbreaks of the condition will propagate to new nations.

While Zika virus is identified to be passed on via an infected mosquito, there is a theoretical threat of spread through sexual contact (one proved case) or via infected blood.

Signs and symptoms of Zika virus

Signs and symptoms of Zika virus are unclear and can continue for up to a week. Medical diagnosis of the virus is generally verified with a blood test. Symptoms of Zika virus include, Conjunctivitis, Fever, Headache, Joint pain, Pain behind the eyes, Rash and Vomiting.

As per the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), only 1 in 4 individuals infected with Zika virus show symptoms. On the other hand, the CDC state the figure is 1 in 5.

Previously, there have also been reports of sufferers developing Guillain-Barré syndrome after a Zika virus infection. Guillain-Barré syndrome is a unusual but severe autoimmune condition that impacts the central nervous system.

Infection with the Zika virus is rarely serious enough to warrant hospitalization, and it is rarer still for a person to die as outcome.

Recent Updates on Zika Virus:

On 26th of Jan 2016, CDC has released travel cautions for individuals traveling to areas and specific nations where Zika virus transmission is on-going. These consist of:

Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Cape Verde, Colombia, Dominican Republic,  Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay,  Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Samoa, Suriname, US Virgin Islands, Venezuela.

Recently Clinical Research Society published an article with tittle  WHO Forms Emergency Committee on Zika Virus.